Animals & Hurricane Harvey

When I started hearing about Hurricane Harvey on the news earlier this week, my mind immediately went to, “The animal shelters!” Humans are smart enough (usually) and able enough to get out of the way of hurricanes. But what about the animals in shelters?

I did a bit of Googling for animal shelters in Corpus Christi but I didn’t find much. Luckily, North Brooklyn Cats posted a video about all the work that Austin Pets Alive! is doing in Austin. They’re taking in animals that are living in places that are in the path of the hurricane as well as reaching out to the community in Austin to find fosters for their animals so they can take in even more animals. You can donate through the link above. The minimum donation is $10 and who doesn’t have a spare $10? Every little bit helps.

Then while putzing around on Twitter after finding APA, I found the Austin Humane Society, another no-kill shelter in Austin. They are also taking in animals and they’re in need of supplies so I picked something off their Amazon Wishlist and you should, too (if you can).

So, if you can afford it, I’d definitely recommend supporting these two organizations. I hope the animal (and human!) death toll is as low as possible during Hurricane Harvey. Be safe if you’re in it’s path!

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Don’t Yuck My Yum

The eclipse was this week – on Monday. I woke up as a skeptic. I didn’t have the glasses and I was like, “Whatever, don’t really care that much.” Then it started happening and a colleague of mine had a pair of glasses and we looked out the window and up towards the sky and saw it. And you know what? It was actually pretty cool and I was glad I got out of my own way and saw it. Was it a little anticlimactic once it was over in New York? Sure. But I was still glad I saw it.

My good vibes were then rained on when I asked a friend on Gchat if he’d seen it. He replied “no, but Trump did,” and sent me a link to an article about Trump being dumb and looking without the glasses. At that moment, I probably interpreted it as him comparing me to Trump, but in retrospect, I don’t think he was. I think he was just being himself – refusing to do whatever else is doing, even if it is cool, because it makes him feel good to be above things that a lot of people find cool. Or his office has no windows and his colleagues had no glasses. I don’t know. I didn’t ask because I was pissed at him for shitting on my parade. But truth be told, I let him.

Later on another friend posted on Facebook, a sarcastic, also debbie downer, comment about the eclipse. Jesus fucking christ, people. If you don’t want to look, don’t look. No need to be a complete twat about it when other people are enjoying it. Upon reflection, she, too, was probably just looking to make a joke and get lots of likes. No harm. I guess?

But it’s a weird week and people are feeling weird. I’m going to blame it on the eclipse, Mercury being in retrograde (that fucker), and the fact that the end of summer can be a downer sometimes (I guess, though I wouldn’t know as I’m one of those people who can NOT wait for fall). My yoga class on Monday was incredibly grounding and restorative. Exactly what we all needed.

But my reaction to my friends’ negative eclipse commentaries made me think about how I make jokes that could be interpreted as negative about things that people often enjoy. I don’t want to be that person. And maybe I should re-think some of my friendships as well. Because shouldn’t you be friends with people who make you feel good?

Happy eclipse week!

The above photo is from Monday night. It’s a partial eclipse of Gus. 

Quiet Night In (Not)

I’d planned on having a quiet night in on Saturday night. I really did. I was planning on cooking, hanging out with the furbabies, and possibly reconnecting with my acoustic guitar for the first time in WAY too long. I’d gone to a Kundalini yoga class in the morning and to see Marvin’s Room with Matt (I heart him living closer) in the afternoon and I was getting ready to take off my clothes and settle in. I’d even canceled a tentatively planned date because it was quite obvious that neither one of us was all that interested in the other (as evidenced by our infrequent texts, inability to make ACTUAL PLANS, etc.). I wasn’t upset (my ambivalence over this perfectly nice dude was why I canceled). It just was what it was. I’d even made the choice NOT to ghost him and to actual tell him that I was canceling. #adulting

Then Kristen texted and said she was at a bar on the UES after a friend’s baby shower and I should come over. I dreaded the process of actually getting to the bar (Infirmary on 89th and 2nd) because it took forever last time I had to get to that area, but the train and bus actually synched up pretty well and I got there in 20 minutes. We ate appetizers, drank fRoses, and then I dragged Kristen a couple of blocks away to Caledonia East, a great Scottish cocktail bar where my friend was bartending for the night.

About 30 minutes after we arrived, I noticed a couple walk in and sit down next to us (technically next to Kristen) and I was 99% sure it was the guy I’d canceled on with a new date. I immediately felt less bad and laughed. Out loud. I think he saw me and they then moved to the far end of the bar and a few minutes later left altogether. I told Kristen and my friend who was bartending and we laughed at the coincidence that he would roll into the bar we were in out of all the others in the neighborhood. Only happens to me. (And I’m cool with that because it makes for a great story.) A little while later he texted me saying he was surprised I was on the east side. I guess it was him.

We Uber’ed it back to my apartment after a drink so I could feed my the furballs and we headed over to The Hamilton, which is owned by the same gentleman as Caledonia, and it is equally as amazing. After a few more drinks, we headed back to my apartment and promptly passed out. Kristen had planned to drive home about 5 hours earlier but any attempt to operate a motor vehicle in her (our) state would have resulted in a swift tit punch from yours truly, so she passed out on my couch and I in my bed.

It totally wasn’t the night either one of us had planned, but it was a great night. We spent morning eating egg and cheese sandwiches, snuggling with the cats, and watching The Big Short.

 

Whisker Fatigue

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.

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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.

A Boring-AF Adult Birthday List

My birthday is in ten days! I’m just meeting up with some friends at a bar and having a few drinks and eating chicken wings and cake this year: NBD. But as a few people have been asking me what I want for my birthday, I racked my head and came up with the most boring list ever:

  1. Giaim Sol Yoga Mat – a couple of my fellow yoga teacher trainees swear by these and I hate my Manduka more than I can say. 
  2. Food Processor – I don’t have a brand in mind, but I think it’s finally time to get one of these for making pestos and salad dressings, etc. I know: contain your excitement.
  3. Wooden Cooking Spoon – Mine is really old and breaking, so, yeah. Any brand will do. Again: stay in your seats. 
  4. Cast-iron Skillet – So, I can make the perfect egg. 

I honestly can’t think of anything else I want. Maybe a new vacuum? Another cat? (Just kidding!)

But seriously, in case anyone is looking for an organization to donate money to in my fabulous honor, you can click here to donate to Anjellicle Cats Rescue (the organization I rescued both Playbill and Ares from) or 2000 Spays and Neuters (another rescue organization that I volunteer with). 

Cat Camp = Best of Times

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.

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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.

Lil Bub!

The 9-month old Maine Coon kitten!

Jackson Galaxy’s key note!

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Tumblr, meet Ares.

Two weeks ago, Justin and I went to Koneko Cat Cafe on the LES to meet a cat named Sammy who seemed like he’d be an awesome fit for Playbill. He’d been at the cafe the longest, and I felt bad for him because he was (is) super adorable. We arrived to hear that an application for him had just been approved but we were hurried in nevertheless and introduced to a four-and-a-half-year-old Tabby named Ares. We fell in love as he licked the dried tuna treats off our fingers and stared at us with his permanently grumpy face and said OK. I filled out an application and we picked him up from the UWS Petco last Sunday.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to integrate him into my apartment with Playbill, but it’s been a process. We were told to let her smell him in his carrier when we got home and we did. And she hissed so we rushed him into the bedroom, let him out of the carrier, and he immediately fell asleep on my bed.

Playbill’s area of the apartment has always been the living room, so he obviously gets the bedroom. He has his own food bowls, cat tree, and litter box in there. Justin stayed over most of the week to keep him company in the bedroom while I slept out on the couch with Playbill, so she’d know I was still here and she wasn’t alone, or being replaced. 

We bought a baby gate this weekend and that’s been helping. I try to feed them both at the same time on opposite sides of the gate and I always close the door when I leave the apartment. I have a (clean) sock that I will occasionally rub on Ares and then give to Playbill to smell. Oh, and I’m also using Jackson Galaxy’s ‘Stress Stopper’ serum. 

Playbill is still stressed, but Ares is a big loaf. He came from the cat cafe where he dealt with other cats all the time so he is not phased by her very occasional hissing. He will literally fall over and sleep anywhere (okay, mostly the bed right now). We might rename him Loaf, but his grumpy face just says ‘God of War,’ right?

So, it’s an ongoing process. If you have any stories to share, I’d LOVE to hear them! 

PS: If you’re looking for a cat, Sammy’s application sadly fell through and he’s still available for adoption through Anjellicle Cats! He was a sweet and active little kitty.

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Memories.

Oh, Cats. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years mocking this musical. It was my first musical in 1993, when I was 7, but I didn’t remember much about it except that a ‘cat’ walked past me across the front of the mezzanine and I thought that was SO COOL. I also definitely rolled my eyes when I heard it was being revived. But I bought my mom tickets for Christmas and we went in mid-January. And I really enjoyed it, as did she. 

So there’s really, truly no story being told, but a vague plot about a bunch of stray cats that come together on one night every year. Then there’s a former glamorous cat that is old and ragged, Grizabella, who I felt really bad for. There’s a small white cat, who I remember was my favorite back in the early 90′s. And there’s Mr. Mistoffelees, the magical tuxedo cat! He was, obviously, my favorite. Lastly, there’s the large old cat who is basically the sage, Rum Tum Tugger, the role Terrance Mann originated on Broadway (yes, that’s what I associate with this role). 

All of the cats have backstories and I felt so bad for all of them. Because I am a bleeding heart for stray cats now. I’m a crazy person. Anyways, the choreography was really phenomenal. So was the cast. 

I will totally admit that I had to eat my hat because I loved Cats and I’d definitely go see it again. I probably won’t, but I enjoyed it enough that I totally would. 

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Week 1: Done

I can’t believe week 1 of teacher training is over. I was so nervous the night before it started that I barely got any sleep on Sunday and apparently my teacher, Chrissy, didn’t either. I’m sure it was the same for a lot of people. We all sat in a circle and nervously surveyed who else was in the class. By day 4, when we sat in a circle in the studio at the end of the day, Chrissy said something like, “Can you believe how well we’ve all gotten to know each other in just four days?” And it’s true. We really had.

There were pose myths debunked. Super long asanas flowed through. And we learned the secret formula for YogaWorks sequencing. Personally, my mind was blown to find out that our hips are not squared in Trikonasa or Ardha Chandrasana. I was also blown away to find out that there’s a specific method to the madness of YogaWorks’ sequences. From here on out, I’m pretty much going to be keeping an eye on my teacher’s sequences to see if they break any of the rules. I’m annoying like that. We’ve had a ton of anatomy lessons, too. I’m going to really have to work hard to became even the tiniest bit memorized with some of the names.

We’re reading the yoga sutras by Patanjali and they’re so interesting and relevant even in modern times. 

The group of men and women (okay, there are only two men, but that’s okay!) are so incredibly diverse, from all parts of the world, and I’m so happy to be getting to know all of them. 

By Day 4, I was incredibly sore. And after the long asana yesterday, I was even more sore, in addition to exhausted. Today I woke up at the incredibly late hour of 9am and took a bath while doing some anatomy reading and then I stretched and flowed a little. 

And now it’s snowing, so I’m watching the snow out my window while J reads and Playbill sleeps. Happy Saturday!

Snow Day!

I honestly don’t know anyone in the city who loves a good snowfall like I do. I mean, obviously it’s ideal to be able to sit in your apartment and watch it fall, rather than commute to work in it, but I love it regardless. All you need is a good pair of boots and you’re set. It gives you an excuse to go buy (or make!) hot chocolate or extra coffee because there is no better time for hot chocolate and coffee than a snow day. 

I am currently sitting in my living room watching some light, but consistent, snowflakes fall from the sky while my cat sleeps on the windowsill and I’m trying to decide whether or not to go to a yoga class at 11am. I’ve been trying to let my strained knee heel for the last week and a half before teacher training starts (on Monday, OMG). Shockingly, constant yoga classes weren’t helping, so I took Friday off and my knee is feeling a bit better (it hasn’t been in excruciating pain, just extra sensitive). 

Annnnnnnd I think I’ve just talked myself out of going. Thanks, blog and free-writing mind. I’m going to do some light flow and stretching in my apartment before I go to help to administer a survey at In Transit’s matinee (90 minutes, no intermission!). It should be an interesting piece, or at the very least it’ll be different.

And I hadn’t planned on it, but Anjellicle Cats was at a loss for a volunteer tonight so my bleeding heart for cats said yes, so I’ll trudge back out in the snow later tonight to play with some cats that are waiting to find their furrrrever homes. (Have you adopted a cat lately? If not, I seriously think you should.)

In the meantime, get a good pair of boots and enjoy your snow day.