My dad posted a link to this article from the New York Times on Facebook today. It’s called Whisker Fatigue, and it’s the reason why your (and my!) cats might have “eating issues,” aka they take their food out of their bowls and eat on the floor.
I’ve always noted that Gus takes his food out of his bowl and eats it off the floor. I never thought anything of it because other people have said their cats did the same thing. BUT! It’s not just a cute cat quirk, it’s an actual medical thing that is resolved by using shallow food dishes to feed them. Whiskers are little antennas and so you can imagine they’d be bothered if they were constantly smooshing up against the side of a bowl while they were eating. They supposedly get anxious and apprehensive because of this.
That’s Gus. See Gus’s whiskers? They’re really long for a little cat. So, being the doting cat mom I am, I went out to my local indie pet store to buy new food bowls and when they didn’t have them, I purchased these on Amazon.
Hopefully he’ll stop spilling his food onto the floor when the new dishes come. I just wanted to pass on my new found cat-related wisdom.
I went to Cat Camp on Sunday to check it out, buy some stuff for my cats (er, me), and see Jackson Galaxy’s keynote. Little did I know that about 15 minutes after I arrived, Jackson Galaxy himself came out to his foundation’s table to sign pictures and take photos with people.
When it was my turn, I thanked him for all he does and shook his hand, took a photo, and then asked him as briefly as I could what I should do about getting Ares and Playbill to get along – since Playbill had started to treat Ares like prey. He asked a few additional questions and then told me that they’re not ready to be in the same room yet and to keep feeding them on opposite sides of the gate until they can eat and ignore each other. I shook his hand and left, elated, since I had no idea I’d even have the opportunity to talk to him.
So cool. He was the nicest.
I bought lots of toys for the furmonsters, donated some money to various organizations, purchased some cat wine from Apollo Peak, and bought a tank top with a meditating cat on it that says, “Meowwwwwwwm” with the literal Sanskrit translation of it below made by Squirrel Den Studio. (I mean, I obviously had to buy this t-shirt.) I also saw a talk with Lil Bub and her dude. To be honest, I’m not really familiar with Lil Bub, but I know more now, and she’s the most chill little cat ever, not to mention adorable. The Kitten Lady was there, too! But I also learned about some amazing stuff going on in the cat community that I wanted to share:
Littleman_Mika: A kitty who was born with a cleft palette. Her human is raising awareness for special needs cats.
The Cat Rescuers: A documentary about volunteers who TNR in Brooklyn. Look for it in 2018!
Kitty in NY: In-home cat caregivers! If you’re moving, or renovating, or need to travel, this is an organization that will come to your apartment and take care of your kitty. Awesome idea, since most cats don’t travel as well as Lil Bub!
Catnip Nation: Another documentary in the making, this one is about how cat videos have taken over the internet. Cosign that.
My Cat Kyle: A big black and white kitty named Kyle sat in a harness on the table for this organization. Kyle was a kitty who once witnessed a murder in his home, so this organization is about the pets that get forgotten in the midst of domestic violence and how to help save them.
Only Maine Coons Rescue: A 9-month old Maine Coon say on the table of this organization and she was BIG. She was bigger than Playbill and this Maine Coon was only a kitten! You can obviously decipher what this organization does.
The Paw Project: This is an organization that was collecting signatures in an effort to get New York State to outlaw declawing. I gave them whatever money I had on me.
Polydactyl Cats: This is an awesome cat toy company that make toys for cats that “think outside the mouse.” I bought soy sauce and duck sauce packet catnip toys for my cats. LOVE this company. Their toys are amazing.
Square Paws:This is an awesome cat furniture company. They’re currently working on making NYC apartment-sized cat furniture which is great because all of their stuff is way too big for anyone’s apartment.
The Dancing Cat: This is “art for the moderately crazy cat lover.” They’re really fun photos and I would’ve bought one but I couldn’t find a tuxedo or brown tabby cat photo!
There were many others which you should totally check out on Cat Camp’s website. This was an awesome day and I can’t wait for next year!
Lil Bub and her dude.
The 9-month old Maine Coon kitten!
Jackson Galaxy’s key note!
Baby’s Second Vet Trip
A week or so ago, Playbill was due for her routine rabies vaccine and a general check up. She’s a middle-aged cat (9!) so it’s important to make sure she’s healthy as a horse. And I’m a paranoid cat mom, so it’s better to have a doctor tell me she’s all healthy rather than someone else. J had bought her the BMW of cat carriers, a soft one, so it was a bit easier to get her in this time and it had a zippered part on one side so he could pet her while we were in the cab on the way to the vet.
She meowed the entire way there but not nearly as painfully as last time. She wanted nothing to do with the catnip and treats they gave her, as usual, but she was a pretty good patient. They said she looks fantastic for a 9 year old cat and is very healthy. They added that she’s pretty well behaved for a cat that was adopted into a new home only 8 months prior. That makes me think that she still has personality traits that I have yet to see, which is kind of fun to consider.
Playbill was a bit tired for the next couple of days, which is normal after shots, but she’s back to herself now, racing around the apartment like she has to still hunt down dinner.
I really just wanted an excuse to post these photos, though. Because she is the cutest. She hopped up onto the windowsill in between different doctors and nurses examining her. Always looking for the highest place to perch. Typical cat.
Cat/Cow Pose with Actual Cats
Last Thursday, I headed down to the LES for yoga and kitty time at Meow Parlour. I haven’t been back since my first trip there in the winter and I was look forward to it a lot. Before the yoga class begins at the Meow Parlour, everyone gets 45 minutes of kitty time so I first got to know the cats I’d be hanging out with.
There were two ginger wobbly cats there (cats with a neurological disorder that makes it hard for them to balance, hence ‘wobbly’), as well as two tortie kittens, an older white cat, an adorable tabbie kitten, an older ginger cat, and Willie, an adult tabbie who has been at the Meow Parlour since the very beginning and probably hasn’t been adopted, according to the folks at Meow Parlour, because he takes longer than usual to warm up to humans. I loved him instantly.
As soon as the yoga mats came out, the cats that had been sleeping in the front of the store came running to the back. For some reason they love the yoga mats.
The class was an advanced beginners class for the most part. It made me feel good but didn’t tire me out. It was definitely the most distracted I’ve ever been in a yoga class though, with the cats walking around and brushing up against us. Distracting and adorable.
For $20 and a long ride down to the LES, it was totally worth it to get my downward dog on with the cats and support a great organization.
Election Day 2016
My polling place on the upper west side was busier than it ever has been before! I went by around 8:45am and luckily, I only had to wait around 20 minutes or so, but I hear it got bad in certain parts of my ‘hood. Hopefully everyone voted!
I spent my day in meditation, then a kundalini yoga class, then I cooked lunch, followed by catching up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and then we went to an Urban Zen yoga class. Everything was about stress reduction and it was lovely.
This election has been awful. Donald Trump is an atrocious excuse for a human being with some (emphasis on the word some) of the most awful, racist, misogynist supporters out there. But for those supporters who aren’t the bottom of the barrel, I get it. Sort of. You want lower taxes and you don’t want the country flooded with immigrants from cultures that don’t easily or at all assimilate. I don’t agree with the lower taxes for all. I believe that the super wealthy should start paying their fair share (again). But we’ve been seeing how loads of immigrants haven’t been assimilating into European countries and so it’s understandable and reasonable that some Americans don’t want that here.
That said, I’m not giving the nuclear code to a man who is so volatile that questions about his statements regarding a beauty pageant winner send him on Twitter rants at 3am. He is attention deficit disordered narcissistic misogynist fuckwit. I know people like him because he has no experience in government, but that is not a plus for me.
So, I empathize with the other side, but truly, I hope he loses. I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a world where it is no longer unimaginable for a little girl to dream to be president one day. HRC has a ton of baggage and is not perfect by any means, but she’s what we got so I hope she wins.
Now watch your alcohol intake tonight, please.
The Newest Family Member
No, I did not rescue a kitten. I wish. But my parents did and I got to meet her when I was at their house on Sunday for Rosh Hashana. Meet Dani: She is 7 weeks old and she was found with two siblings underneath a dock on Long Island. I bought her a couple of toys – including the one with the feathers that she’s playing with up there. It’s a motion-activated toy that makes a tweeting sound when she moves it. She loves it but my parents will probably not thank me for introducing it into her life. Whatever. Playbill has one, too!
She’s very sweet and will run around and then promptly fall asleep on you or whatever she can reach that’s soft to land on. She does a mean Firefox pose already, right?
But, seriously, I want to rescue a kitten. Someday.
Film Review: The Book Next Door (or: Broadway Spotted: Kristen Chenoweth Shows Up in a Pixie Cut)
The weather has been kind of shit in New York this week – meaning my favorite kind of shit because aside from my laziness after work or yoga, it’s a lovely “excuse” to stay in and do nothing. And watch shitty movies on HBOGo! Last night’s shitty movie was The Boy Next Door, another infamously shitty JLo movie. (The most epically shitty and epically-amazing-because-of-how-shitty-it-is will always be Enough.)
The film was shit – totally flawed eye-rolling film filth. There’s no reason why anyone should ever watch this. Ever. (Promise me you won’t, okay?) It’s 90 minutes of cliche lines and an unbelievable bullshit plot that would probably never in a hundred years happen. #escapism
But who is JLo’s co-star? Kristin Chenoweth! I had absolutely no idea she was in this and I bet she wishes she hadn’t been (unless she just had to pay her mortgage, then whatever, I get it). She plays the principal of the school that JLo teachers literature and she also happens to be her bff. She also happens to have a horrendous pixie cut. Who put her in that awful wig? Spoiler alert: KChen dies and her dead body falls JLo when she arrives and starts looking for her bff.
Sidenote: Luckily though, her adorable cat, who is really in the movie for no reason at all other than to perpetuate the theme of Unmarried Cat Lady, goes unharmed. The cat is also in the room when KChen is tied up and screaming. Give me a break. That cat, any cat, would’ve been out of there so fucking fast. This is probably the most unbelievable part of the movie.
Conclusion: Unless you want to see Kristin Chenoweth say shitty lines in a pixie cut, never watch this movie. Ever.
I finally handled a possible medical issue with my cat calmly. It was a miracle.
On Tuesday night, after I put my cat down on her cat tower, I noticed there was a little bug on my shoulder. It could’ve come off my cat, for sure. It fell off my shoulder and I bent down to look for it. I found out and tried to balance it on my finger and take a photo of it to send to the vet (because I’m crazy). Unfortunately it fell again and I wasn’t able to find it again so I vacuumed the area.
Then I Googled what a flea looked like. It looked like the bug that I had been balancing on my finger. Then I called the vet.
I calmly explained to the nurse who answered the phone that I had been administering the anti-flea medicine every month, as prescribed. I told her that I brushed her regularly, albeit with the Furminator and not a flea brush, and wasn’t seeing any fleas. And also that I checked the skin on her neck and didn’t see any fleas or flea feces.
The nurse told me that if I have been giving her the flea medicine regularly, and if it was in fact a flea, it was on it’s way to die and not to worry. She also suggested that it could’ve been something other than a flea.
I kept checking her neck periodically throughout the night and giving her extra pets. But I was proud. Mostly of myself. For not losing my shit. #firsts
This is Playbill’s “calm the fuck down, human” face.
The Unexpected Side Effect of New Furniture
When I started gathering boxes and piling books into them last week, I had no idea my cat would notice. Cats are said to sleep most of the time, and eat the rest of the time. But on Wednesday night, as shelves kept being cleared, I noticed Playbill becoming more and more anxious. Then I noticed her dandruff.
Cats produce dandruff when they’re nervous (hence why cats at pet adoption events often don’t look as nice and clean as they could – they’re stressed out and nervous!) and Playbill definitely had some dandruff going on.
Although she couldn’t understand me, I told her that we were just getting a new couch and no one was going anywhere. But obviously, she didn’t understand and she was on guard through Thursday. All I could imagine was that the last time she probably saw packing boxes was the time she was scooped up and taken to Anjellicle Cats to be put up for adoption (seriously, who moves and can’t take their pets with them? I don’t understand people). Maybe not. Maybe she just really, really, really wanted to know what was going on because she didn’t understand.
It’s safe to say that I didn’t expect this small anxiety to be included in the process of getting a new couch. Playbill had a tiny bit of dandruff for the rest of the weekend but it’s mostly gone now. Thankfully.
Remember your furry sidekicks next time you’re re-arranging your apartment have no idea what the fuck is going on. And give them extra treats and love.
Playbill has taken up residence in the corner next to the window and she’s feeling back to herself now, as evidenced by this photo:
Here she is keeping the package that my jeans came in warm. She’s so thoughtful.
When I had toyed with the idea of adopting a cat, I thought I’d get one that loved to be picked up, would sit on my lap all the time (even though this would, after sometime, get annoying), and love to have her belly rubbed. Basically a cat that was really affectionate.
I’m pretty sure I could tell that Playbill was none of those things when I went to have a one-on-one play session with her at Petco before she came home to my apartment. I mean, maybe it was the fact that I was a stranger and she wasn’t doing well living in a box at Petco, or it was just her personality not to run up to you and jump into your arms. But she’d stuck her paw out of the cage at J and I the previous Sunday and she really needed a good home. And she was so fucking cute.
So, I couldn’t say no. And home with me she came.
I kept thinking that was she still depressed when she wouldn’t sit on my lap and always liked to sit on the chair across from where I usually sit in my living room. She usually slept a lot. She basically acted like a skeptical, stand-offish cat. I remember telling my therapist these things and he said, “It sounds like she acts like her owner.” How rude! But true. Touche.
Cat with sass on her favorite bag.
Almost four months in and she still won’t sit on my lap – aside from the couple of times that I dared to sit in her chair. She came up to me and pawed at my stomach until I got up – shaming me, I guess, to get out of her chair.
Sleeping in said chair.
And she doesn’t love to be picked up. She’s gotten a little better, but she really doesn’t love it. She’ll let me pick her up for a few seconds, to appease me, I suppose, and then she’ll start squirming and jump if I don’t put her down first.
She still won’t sleep on my bed with me. She’ll lay in the corner of my bed with me while I read and then once I turn the lights out, she’s gone. Her job is done so she can leave, I suppose? There are hedgehogs and fish to be hunted in the living room. Very important.
And her belly? Usually off limits, but she’s sometimes willing to compromise on that. If she’s rolling around on my bed playing with a toy and I start rubbing her belly. About 60% of the time she’ll swat at me, but sometimes she’ll let me give her a belly rub with a look on her face that says, “Okay, fine, just this once. But make it quick. OK, that’s enough. God, the things I do to make you happy.”
So, she’s not the cat that I envisioned myself adopting, but she’s the one who won me over and she’s 8 (48 in human years) so I can’t change her. I could torture her and try to get her to act a certain way that I think she should act towards me, but that’ll make her miserable and in return, I’ll be miserable, too.
So, the only thing to do is accept her for the kind of cat she is. She’s not super affectionate and doesn’t like being picked up, but she’s adorable and I love her, so who she is is just fine.
This mindset also applies to people. If someone isn’t acting the way you’d like them to, they don’t have to change, but you do. Otherwise your attempts to manipulate and shame them into acting how you want will be met with anger and brick walls. I think this is something that a lot of people won’t accept or acknowledge. We’d all be a lot happier if we did though. That’s for damn sure.
To end this on a positive note, here’s another picture of my adorable stand-offish cat: