Tag Archives: pets

A Hidden, Hairy Agenda

I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my best intentions, I’m not a cat person but still own a cat because I don’t always make good decisions. 

But my hairy little roommate is stuck with me (and vice versa) until we put her cold dead body in a sweater and bury her in the backyard (not vice versa, as I can’t see her using a shovel with any degree of dexterity.)

And while she might be cute and sweet and blah, blah, blah, she’s also not pulling her weight. The other day she spent 10 minutes watching me try and capture a freaking fly before rolling her eyes, opening up the slider and simply shooing it out.

This is what I have to live with.

I guess I really can’t blame her. Her days are spent lounging in luxury without a care in the world — or at least that’s how it would seem.

A Day In the Life

Wait outside bedroom door for human to rise. Marvel that she survives on less than 22 hours of sleep.

Trip her going down the stairs. (Pro tip: Be careful. It doesn’t do any good to trip them if they fall on top of you. Food will be delayed.)

Act like I haven’t had food in three days, sniff bowl, walk away.

While she showers, find the one thing she doesn’t want me to lie on and lie on it until she’s done.

 moniebag

Trip her going up the stairs.

THE NOISE! THE NOISE! SHE’S USING THE HAIRDRYER AGAIN! MUST SEEK SHELTER!

Trip her going down the stairs.

Once she’s at work, lie on the bed that I’m not supposed to go on.

Somehow find a way to eat straw from the fake tree even though she’s attempted to stop this by covering it with a towel and packing tape. It’s like she doesn’t want me to have any fun.

Puke up straw from the fake tree. Shrug. Sleep. Repeat.

SHE’S HOME! SHE’S HOME!

In moment of weakness, allow myself to be picked up for 2.5 seconds. Feel cheap. Run away.

Pretend to like new toy filled with catnip for 1.3 seconds before playing with a piece of rice that was dropped on the floor.

cattoy2

Strategically place death toy in anticipated path of human so she steps on it, letting out all of the catnip and colorful language.

Watch her clean out my shit box. Gaze at her in a way that implies, “More enthusiasm, and with a smile. You missed a spot.”

OH MY GOD THE VACUUM IS ON AND IT’S LIKE SHE’S TRYING TO SUCK OUT MY SOUL!!!

Where are my drugs? Must find my drugs!!!

Feel catnip buzz wear off and crave treats. Roll on back and implement “teats for treats” campaign in front of treat stash until she caves.

Sucker.

Run from sun room to the kitchen 74 times for no apparent reason.

Wait until she’s settled on the couch before staring into empty fireplace in a way that convinces her there are ghosts taking up residence.

ALERT! ALERT! THERE’S THE RED LASER LIGHT AGAIN! MAYBE THERE ARE REALLY GHOSTS!

Try like hell to catch the red dot for 4 seconds before resuming the staring contest with my reflection in the glass fireplace doors.

I am beautiful. Another clear indication that this woman is not my real mother.

Wait until she’s ready to go to bed and resume my wind sprints throughout the house.

Go find that bowl full of food.  I need to make sure she feels useful. Plus, I need energy to do it all over tomorrow. 

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Shower Power

Here’s the deal.

While I like my cat enough and everything, I’m not one to spoil her and treat her like the child I’ll never have. I don’t do clingy, and (she lets me think) we have an agreement regarding our boundaries.

Monie can do whatever she wants except jump up on things (not an issue, as she’s not really athletic,) sleep in my bed or hang out in the bathroom while I’m in there.

I’m don’t need her staring up at me while I’m on the toilet or getting into the shower, silently judging me with her eyes. I figure I don’t camp out outside her shit box, so she shouldn’t camp out outside mine.

Then again, she does bathe in random rooms around the house, so I suppose our boundaries are a bit blurred.

All of this is to say that her new “favorite” place to camp out is directly in front of the register in the bathroom—the one located between the toilet and the counter and directly across from the shower.

moniebathroom2

She had never shown any interest in the bathroom before and I didn’t realize this was a new “thing” until I was in there and heard her little bell as I stepped out of the shower. I shooed her out and didn’t think much of it until later that week when I pulled back the shower curtain and found the furry little beast sitting in the middle of the tub.

A more pleasant surprise than a spider, for sure, but still not entirely welcome.

Anyway, I’m letting her have her own little space next to the heater when the bathroom isn’t in use, simply because a) I choose to believe she likes the warmth and isn’t some kind of a pervert and b) it keeps her out of my hair when I need to do important things like eat or Swiffer.

And while I refuse to allow an audience for normal toilet things, I am thinking she might be able to serve a purpose for those times I’m in the shower.

You see, it’s been my experience that showers are a great place to spend 9 minutes thinking about all of your problems and 1 minute actually showering. If she wants to hang out while I’m reading the back of the shampoo bottles out loud in the multiple languages—“Shampoo/shampooing” “cranberry oil/huile de canneberge” —she might as well make herself useful.

If she can complete either of these tasks on a regular basis, she can stay:

1) Along with thinking about all of my problems, I also compose great literary works while showering. I think it’s something about the steam releasing all the creative things from my brain or something. Look it up. It’s probably a thing.

I will dictate these brilliant thoughts out loud for Monie to transcribe so my thoughts aren’t sucked down the drain with the suds. I know it doesn’t sound possible, but SOMEONE’S been adding “catnip” to the grocery list and it hasn’t been me. Let’s put those skills to good use.

2) Michigan is cold in the winter, and most days I could stay in the hot shower until my skin resembles a sunburned prune. This is not good for either my skin or the water bill, so if Monie can somehow reach her little paw in and shut off the water when a timer goes off, that would be most helpful.

Oh, and warming up my towel in the dryer would be a nice touch.

All in all, I think my proposal is fair. If she doesn’t want to comply, she can scoot her furry feet out of the bathroom when I’m there—as long as she stays off my bed.

We have boundaries, after all.

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Dear Abby

Hello faithful readers!

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, my name is Abby. This lends itself to people pointing out that writing “Dear Abby” reminds them of the once-popular advice column founded in the 1950s by Abigail Van Buren.

This picture doesn’t relate to this post, but it says “Abby” on my sweater.

I am not Abigail Van Buren—or an Abigail, for that matter—but I do like to dispense helpful advice to anyone who is brave enough to ask. However, in a shocking turn of events, a) no one has offered me my own syndicated column and b) no one has really come out and asked me for advice.

Perhaps I’m an intimidating figure, what with the tens of fans that I have, so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that the search terms that lead to my blog are actually anonymous questions from troubled souls looking for guidance from me.

Once I added a question mark to the end of these terms, it became clear that there are quite a few pressing matters to attend to! However, we’ll start with this one, as it appears it could be time-sensitive. 

Dear Abby

Q: Need to bury pet rabbit. How long does rigor mortis last?

A: I believe you’re actually wondering how long it takes to set in, as although I’m no doctor, I think it lasts forever. Either way, you stumbled upon my blog through that search for good reason. I can speak to this particular situation with personal experience (about the rabbit and not rigor mortis of my own, although as I get older I feel like I’m dead.)

When I was but a wee little Abby with issues, I had a pet bunny named Mitten, cleverly named for the white mitten on his black foot. One day I was at a friend’s house and distinctly remember that we made mini personalized pizzas in a janky E-Z Bake Oven.

Upon my return home I was informed that sometime between my departure and the pizzas, poor little Mitten had died.

While I was told it was of “natural causes,” it was later revealed that my dad—an unsavory character I don’t often speak of—had in fact cleaned Mitten’s cage with a mystery ingredient just hours before Mitten’s demise.

These were pre-CSI days, and I still harbor a wealth of suspicion.

But to answer your question—not about whether my dad was a Mitten murder, but rather about rigor mortis — the little rabbit’s legs were sticking straight out by the time we tried to put him in the shoebox/coffin, and this was only a couple hours past his “alleged” peaceful passing.

What followed was slightly traumatic, but necessary, as a proper burial was of course, a must.

So we cut holes in the end of the box, wrapped his body in a towel down to his little bunny thighs and shoved his stiff-ass legs through the holes.

After what I would like to recall as a rousing eulogy and chorus of “Circle of Life,” poor Mitten was laid to rest in the pet cemetery, gone but not forgotten.

According to the search terms there are many more questions I could touch on today—“is an ass crack sexual harassment” and “drunk nun book club,” for example— but I feel that’s enough for right now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with knowledge.

But if you, my dear readers, have a situation of your own in which you seek counsel — whether it’s serious or seriously funny — feel free to shoot me a note.

I’m just here to help, after all.

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My Hairy Little Roommate

It’s been a few months since I got the cat, and I thought I should update you and let you know that I’m not a cat person.

Whee! I’m fat and catnipped!

Before you freak out, let me add the disclaimer that Monie is an awesome cat and I love her. But I’m a neurotic weirdo who’s still trying to be Zen about having this walking hairball that demands affection, sheds and forces me to say, “No lickey!” entirely more than I’m comfortable with.

But we’re roommates, and to be honest, I probably have the better part of the arrangement.

moniecouchtoy

While I have to deal with a creature that makes Gremlin noises and leaves the occasional hairball on the carpet—dramatic sigh—she has to deal with me jumping around the living room yelling with Jillian Michaels, dancing with the Swiffer and making up songs about catnip while trying to get the cat high.

The last verse of which is usually something about how I’ll probably die alone.

 Anyway, here are some things I’ve learned these past few months:

If there is a Hell, it’s covered in cat hair. If there is a Heaven, it includes the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. And million dollar idea: yoga-type pants that are made of the same stuff as lint brushes. Run with that, people.

She also prefers the hard shelf to her leopard print cat bed because that makes total sense.

She does not enjoy me making her little arms “raise the roof” to “Hip Hop Hooray,” but she does seem to take delight in watching me try and capture a fly for 10 minutes. I think we’re doing this wrong.

Although she’s great about giving me my space when I workout, 40 minutes of yoga calm is instantly negated by the sound of the her hacking up a hairball in the next room. Namaste.

monietoys

Of all her toys, this is one that she will put in her mouth and carry around while growling. I found it on my pillow once. Affection or warning? TBD.

I never feel more inferior than when she watches me scoop out her shitbox. It’s not that she’s mocking me, but I swear her gaze says, “More enthusiasm, and with a smile. You missed a spot.”

While many cats are motivated by food and reinforce the “I want affection for 1.2 seconds, after which time I will claw you to escape from your overbearing presence” stereotype, she does neither. On the other hand, I just described myself.

536421_3939989498298_1498835538_n

“Oh, hello. I will sit in this stupid bed for five seconds before leaving to get my head stuck in your flip-flop and then bolting across the room.”

The term “scaredy cat” doesn’t really apply. I can “Riverdance” across the living room floor or yell at her for making risotto like a fat cow while watching “Kitchen Nightmares” and she doesn’t budge. The vacuum does provoke a little fear, but that could be because I usually end up lassoing the ridiculously long cord around like a demented cowgirl.

Anyway, to summarize, I’ve learned I’m really not a cat person.

But unlike stories I’ve heard about other roommates, I’ve never come home to find she went on a crazy (catnip) bender that resulted in her piercing her multiple teats and ordering mass quantities of Snuggies off QVC. And while she has yet to pay rent or learn how to flush, she can make me laugh and puts up with my neurosis while simultaneously contributing to it.

I just thank god this cat can’t blog.

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Musings on Monie

Breaking news: My house isn’t perfect anymore. There are cat toys all over the place, hair on my dining room chairs and a four-legged creature wandering around—and I have survived the past two weeks.

To be honest, it was rough in the beginning and I’m still adjusting. But if I had to get a cat, Monie has turned out to be the perfect choice. Since a few of you have asked how things have gone, I figured it was time for an updatea few of the highlights and a few of the lessons she’s taught me so far.

She hid under my desk for the first night or so, but was lured out with catnip and a brush.

moniehiding

Let that be a lesson, my friends. Legal hallucinogens and massage will do wonders, and I suggest someone sends some over to me ASAP.

I kept shoving her towards food, water, the litter and this cat bed, seeing as I spend a lot of time doing those things myself, and she took to them all pretty quick.

monieinbed

Leopard print cat bed. She is a rock star.

Eventually she executed her plan for world domination by claiming certain spots in the house. I challenged this authority by busting out the vacuum for the first time, at which point she simply shrugged her furry shoulders and walked back to “her” room.

This is a good thing, as the vacuum makes an appearance more than a Kardashian in the news.

Anyway, she sounds like a gremlin when I brush her every morning, didn’t get the memo that 10-year-old cats are supposed to aloof and reclusive and was called “husky” but healthy by the vet.

fatmonie

Weee! We’re working on the “husky” thing.

Plus, she tried to eat the same fake plant I tried to water, so apparently she fits right in.

But in an effort to make this post slightly worth your while, I will dig a bit deeper and say she is teaching me a couple things.

First, she’s shown me she’s a creature with a tremendous capacity for love. I was a complete stranger taking her home that day and she was willing to trust and love me almost immediately. I realize she would’ve been that way with anyone taking her home, but it just goes to show that her heart was open to love.

Second, despite her rough situation, she wasn’t defensive or mean (even though I wouldn’t have blamed her if she was.) She was/is curious, affectionate and willing to experience a new situation with courage and joy—and catnip—but not bitterness.

Third, I can unplug. The time before bed I might have spent online/screaming at a blank computer screen is now often spent playing with her. I can also set boundaries and say “no.” When I want my time, you can bet I still take it—despite her whining and attempts to lick me.

sunsleep

Side bar: She tries to lick me. She’s a weirdo.

And while I’m trying very hard not to get annoyed when she wants attention all the time — I don’t do needy— those times when I do snap at her seem to be forgotten by the next time out paths cross, which is often, seeing as she follows me around. But she never holds a grudge and seems to take things as they are—in that moment—and nothing more.    

Finally, if I don’t completely secure my bedroom door at night, I will wake up and roll over to see a 13-pound cat on the pillow next to me.

I’m still learning.

Buy the book. Save a kitten. 

Monie Monie

As much as I love animals and support rescues with all of my heart, I understand people’s confusion when they find out I don’t have a pet of my own right now. After all,  I have the resources to take care of a pet, the experience and a whole house to myself. So what’s the deal?

There’s no simple answer, but when asked I tell people it’s because I don’t want hair all over my house, accidents on my new carpet or to have to pay for everything that comes along with their care.

All of those things are entirely true.

My OCD flips out when anyone comes to my house, much less a creature roaming around shedding and hacking things up. But the main reason—the one I don’t tell people—is that a) I don’t want to get too attached and b) I don’t want anyone (pet or person) to expect anything from me.

The truth is that I’ve been in “that place” more than I haven’t been lately. By all outward appearances I’m fully functional and fine, but internally I’m anything but.

Don’t worry. I won’t write about it again, as I’ve probably talked about it too much as it is. But as much as I want to pretend things are fine, it’s kind of hard to ignore when all you want to do is absolutely nothing, and anyone—even your own mom—entering your house makes your skin crawl as you fight the urge to clean.

Plus, a majority of the time I feel incapable of taking care of myself and the prospect of having something else to tend to shoots my anxiety up. It’s easier to keep my world very narrow, very controlled and to not get attached to too much.

But easier doesn’t mean better.

And the past couple of weeks I’ve spent entirely too much time looking at cats on the Humane Society website, and then in person, letting myself get a little excited about bringing an animal in. I knew I would want an older cat, one that just needed to live out their days completely spoiled and loved, but I still had a lot of reservations (see above, times 1,263.)

Then I found her.

monie2

Meet Monie.

She’s 10 years old and was brought in only because the previous owners had a baby. That’s the only reason. So after weighing the pros and cons entirely too much, I decided to shut off my brain and bring her home.

I’m still freaking out in a neurotic way, but hoping that along with companionship, this will help me get out of my head, maybe injecting some literal and metaphorical hair and hacking in the places I’ve so carefully controlled to this point.

She’s a short hair, but she’s hairy. She’s calm and clean, but there will be messes. She’s older, but she’ll be loved. Not just because she deserves it, but because I want to let myself love her.

monie

I realize this is a very dramatic interpretation for the simple act of getting a cat, but for me, this will be a huge step.

Because while technically I “saved” her,  I’m kind of hoping that she can save me.

(We’ll keep you updated.)

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So I think my mom’s dog is a serial killer*

*Please note I said “my mom’s dog” and not “my” dog. Even though we no longer live together, I still consider Chauncey to be “my” dog when he’s cute or does something cool like show off how he knows the names of all 4,396 toys he has. But when he does something like fall over when peeing because he lifted his leg too high or exhibits characteristics of a serial killer, he becomes my mom’s dog.

This is the text my mom sent me the other night:

Chauncey just flung Bumble and his little arm flew off.  Bumble’s arm, not Chauncey’s. He still has all his arms and legs.

bumble2

Apparently Chauncey got a wee bit wild with Bumble and with a vicious shake of his head, sent Bumble one way and his little arm across the room in the opposite direction.

Bumble was immediately prepped for surgery, and I’m happy to report that he pulled through like a champ. Despite the fact that his right appendage is now a little bit shorter than his left, he’s back to business as usual.

But if you will recall, this is not the first time that a certain member of the toy family has lost a limb at the jaws of this 13-pound beast.

Monka was once a thriving member of pet toy society with rope arms and legs for casual play. Unfortunately, Monka became “Bob-a-Monka” when ALL FOUR OF HIS LIMBS were ripped off his body and unable to be reattached, due to the fact they were ropes and not solid limbs.

Because of patient privacy issues I didn’t take pictures of the other victims—Hippo, Stinkin’ Squirrel, Tiger—but my mom does have a cupboard in which she keeps the animals who are currently awaiting their transplants.

Where did we go wrong?

Perhaps he learned this behavior from Wendell, the one-toothed wonder cat with a crooked crotch (may she RIP,) as she used to bat flies around on the window sill and then leave them there, bored when they gave up the fight. 

Or maybe these rages are being fueled in an effort compensate for the fact that certain parts of his own manhood have been ripped off, if you know what I mean.

But despite the disturbing rate at which his toy’s limbs are falling off, I suppose I won’t worry until he starts cutting out letters from old magazines and sending ransom notes. Considering he also finds delight in eating rabbit poop and can be distracted by the jingle of his leash, I think we’re pretty safe.

And if you feel so compelled, feel free to send Bumble’s get well cards and cash donations directly to me.

I’ll make sure that he gets them, of course.

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