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!

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.

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!

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.

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. 

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. 

New Year’s Things

I just did 5 yoga classes in 3 days. I am sore and took today, Friday, off. I’m going in for one more class before the final holiday of the year tomorrow morning, which should kill me. My knee is acting up but I think it’s strained from overdoing it in King Arthur pose on Wednesday night so I’ll have to go easier.

I was thinking about New Year’s resolutions and I didn’t know what they should be. J said that because I’m doing yoga teacher training, and that’s a big commitment, that I should basically be absolved from making other ones, but I still wanted to think of something. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Volunteer more – this will likely be in the realm of volunteering with cats, something I’m already doing, but let’s do it some more, shall we?
  2. Go on Facebook less – like 15 minutes a day or less. If I have a question about something, I’ll just have to Google it or reach out to actual human people I know. Facebook is a super fucking waste of time and it makes people depressed, so let’s cut it out. 
  3. Read – I read 14 or 15 books this year. Let’s do it again in 2017. Or make it 20. Why not.
  4. Be healthier – Cook more, eat out less. Get back to drinking once or twice a week and no more. Basically try to feel good. 
  5. Make a vision board – I keep meaning to and then I’m like, “Ooh, NVM, let’s watch My Cat From Hell…”
  6. Figure out what I want to do – I don’t think a 9-5 desk job is for me (unfortunately) so I need to figure out WTF I want to do instead. 
  7. Rock teacher training – Duh. Maybe I’ll be able to master a headstand, too, finally. But hey, just because someone can do a handstand doesn’t mean they’re a good teacher.
  8. Watch less Netflix – This goes for HBO Go and Amazon Prime too. I want to watch less TV so I can read more. 
  9. Be more patient – with my partner, my friends, family, and especially strangers. I currently have no patience, so cultivating any patience would be a miracle. 
  10. Be less judgmental – I would like to look at someone that I’ve never met and not make 10 assumptions about them based on what they look like or what they’re doing. 
  11. Travel Somewhere New: One new city in America (we’re planning on Denver, at the very least) and three new cities in Europe (ideas that have been thrown around: Reykjavik, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Budapest, Bucharest, or wherever they film the Bond movies in Croatia).

I think that’s good for now. What are your resolutions? 

Post-Holiday Hangover

Happy post-holiday hangover! The holidays were pretty easy this year. My parents hosted Christmas Eve so I didn’t have to move much. My mom’s side of the family (my dad’s side doesn’t come because they live in Maine and they’re Jewish, duh) is SO LOUD. I had to retreat to my room at one point to meditate and decompress because it was so goddamn loud. I had a lot of fun playing with my parent’s kitten, though. She’s so energetic! 

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Though my mom might be Catholic, we still pretty much celebrate Christmas like Jews. We have the morning presents and relaxing and then go to the movies and out to eat Chinese food. We ended up seeing La La Land which was So So Painfully Bad. Apologies to Pasek and Paul, but the music wasn’t memorable and the storyline, though not their fault, was horrifically cliche. The opening number really had nothing to do with anything and was so terribly awkward I wanted to shrink down in my seat and die.

I traveled back to the city with my mom on Monday and J and I met my friend Elliot and his girlfriend to see the [random] matinee of The Encounter, which was again a wonderful experience and all enjoyed it. Today I am getting back to yoga at my studio and trying to finish up a quick book. I’m allowing myself to eat and drink whatever I want this week, within reason, until New Year’s Day. Because… new year, new start? Then I’m reigning it in. Back to not drinking more than one day a week and cooking. 

And I’ll be entering lots of ticket lotteries this week with my partner in crime, @endotique. Who never posts on Tumblr anymore and really should, right guys? 

Here’s to a week of freedom before new beginnings. 

This Week’s Adoptable Cuties 

 In addition to volunteering at the Petco on 100th, I’ve also been volunteering with another organization at the Petco on 92nd and Broadway. They’ll usually have 3-4 cats, max, but this week they only have two. 

Hillary (tabby in the first photo) was feisty. She had no desire to be pet or played with but she loved to stick her paw through the holes in the plexiglass to try to swipe at my hand. 

 Tiramisu, the beautiful black cat on the right, was the sweetest and most affectionate cat I’ve ever met. She was adopted and then returned once her elderly owner became ill and couldn’t manage to take care of her properly anymore. Super sad. But she’s gorgeous, so I know she’ll get scooped up soon. (Luckily, for me, she hates other cats, so I can’t be tempted to adopt her!)  

Go to their Saturday event and meet these awesome felines! They’ll be at the Petco on 92nd and Broadway.