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.

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.

Still Breathing.

If I’ve been a little quiet the last couple of weeks it’s because a) the atrocity of the election, and b) I was laid off two weeks ago. The first part of that sentence makes me way more sad than the second part. 

My layoff was not really a surprise. There was a hiring freeze, so there was no recruiting to be done, and running the office and HR for a staff of 15 was not a full time job. Honestly, I was bored and just sticking around so I wouldn’t look like I was jumping around again on future resumes. The office felt cold for the last few months. But I do miss most of my colleagues. They were (are) a good group. 

Since I have savings, I decided to take a week off before I dove into job hunting 100% and after the election on Tuesday night, I could not have been happier to not have to show my face to the world or be forced to talk to people in an office. The Democrats fucked up and nominated a bad candidate (not saying she was unqualified, just not a good candidate because she was too strongly disliked). I never thought Clinton had it in the bag, despite what polls told us, and my deepest fears were confirmed that the American people are, collectively, pretty stupid. Clinton included. She didn’t even GO to Wisconsin. Come on. 

How did I cope on Wednesday? I ordered a Trump cat toy off Amazon so she could scratch his face off and went to yoga. 

The toy didn’t go as planned. She likes to sleep with it. I pretend she’s smothering it.

I’ve spent the last two weeks going to yoga daily, cooking, sending out resumes, chatting with recruiters, and hanging out with my cat (her birthday is tomorrow, so I’ll tell her you all say happy birthday). I’m also shocked at how much fun unemployment is with a cat. Speaking of cats, I’m volunteering with a few adoption organizations to clean and feed cats who are waiting to be adopted at the UWS Petcos. This is also fun. And kind of sad. I might adopt 5 more cats. Who knows. No promises.  

And while contemplating my next steps, given my savings and severance, I’m considering doing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course in January with one of my favorite teachers. I don’t know if I necessarily want to teach yoga, but it’s been a constant thing in my life for so many years now and I want to deepen my understanding of the practice. So, I might sign up for that and do temp work until then to keep myself afloat. 

Lastly, I’ve been sucking at this blogging thing lately. I’m still backlogged on my Poland posts and I have so many things that I could just ramble about. So, I’m going to try write once a day if it kills me. Starting today, starting now. Here’s to post #1!

(Really, lastly, don’t forget to donate to Planned Parenthood.)

Because I’m crazy.

I emailed the woman who I first corresponded with from Anjellicle Cats (the organization that I rescued Playbill from) on Sunday. Playbill has been doing this annoying thing where she meows for attention (not for food, she always has food in her bowl) between 5-5:30am most days (weekends are her favorite). I get up at 6am during the week so I don’t mind it so much, and she doesn’t do it every. single. day. so it’s okay. But on the weekends it can be a little annoying. 

Hence why I emailed the rep from Anjellicle and asked why she was surrendered. I hadn’t asked when I was adopting her and I was a little afraid to because I might find out something horrible. I asked if her previous owners died because sometimes she meows just until she gets a response – so it’s like she’s checking to make sure I’m still breathing. I included a photo in the email to show her how Playbill is doing.

She emailed me back today and said she has cats that meow at 5 or 6 in the morning for food or attention and it’s completely normal. She said it showed in Playbill’s records that her previous owner’s surrendered her so she didn’t think death was a factor in why she was surrendered.

I’m going to assume her previous owner’s were moving and couldn’t take her with them. While this reasoning makes absolutely no sense to me, I’m glad they did or else I wouldn’t been able to rescue her.

Apparently cats can be trained not to meow so early in about 2 weeks, but you have to ignore them. I could withstand the meowing but I’m not sure J could. We’ll see!

First Vet Trip Success – Sort Of

I noticed a couple of little moving white rice-looking things on Playbill’s butt on Monday night/Tuesday morning and thought that probably wasn’t normal. I called two vets on Tuesday morning and emailed the adoption organization that I rescued her from. I decided to go to Uptown Veterinary Associates because the other vet had awful reviews (one was, “you overlooked my cats cancer and I had to put her to sleep!”) and Uptown had great reviews. 

J came over to help me load her into her new cat carrier which I’d picked up earlier that day at Petco and it was a battle. She’s a shelter cat so, of course, she was going to be freaked out at the idea of going into a carrier again. We both felt so bad and told her over and over that she was coming back with us and not to be scared. Of course, she didn’t understand so, that’s one drawback to the Cats Not Kids lifestyle. We eventually got her in and called an Uber, which she hated even more. Anjellicle Cats had said that she hated the taxi ride over to my apartment and she hated this car ride too. She mewed like she was being tortured the entire time. Again, we felt so bad.

A few minutes later, we got to Uptown Vets and checked in and it was only a few minutes until we were placed in a room. The offices were bright and clean and they had an office Chihuahua and three office cats. A nurse came in to weigh her and get her details and a few minutes later the vet came in. Playbill was pretty calm by this time. I kept my hand on her, petting her the whole time. The doctor was so great. She gave Playbill lots of catnip and scratches. She said Playbill was on the high end weight-wise for a cat her size. Oh man, I’d always though she was small! 

They told us that she had the most perfect shaped “cat face” that they’d seen in a while and that she was their star patient for the day in terms of behavior (admittedly they said the bar had been set kind of low by other animals that day). Another technician not involved came in and said, “Hello! I saw those eyes looking at me through the door and I had to come in!” Yes, she has huge Pixar eyes. 

I gave the vets her stool sample and they gave her some medicine for her worms. They also gave me monthly anti-flea medicine to put on her to keep her from getting bit and getting worms again. 

She hated the car ride back, but a little less, I think, maybe because she knew she was going home. She flew out of the cat carrier in my apartment and jumped on the bed, giving me a “I’m never going in there again”-look. It wasn’t a cheap vet visit by any means, but it was worth it. 

A really, really, really restful weekend.

I needed this weekend. After seeing a ton of shows these past few weeks, I needed a weekend off from dealing with any plans. J and I went to one of his childhood friend’s weddings on Friday night in Westchester, but we managed to be home by midnight (somehow!). It was a really pretty, simple wedding on the small(ish) side and we both had an awesome time. 

Then a weekend of nothingness commenced. We slept in on Saturday until 10-ish and then ordered in from one of our favorite diners and ate ourselves into semi-hungover oblivion. We spent the rest of the day watching Hush and a couple of episodes of Silicon Valley. And after we went for a painful run (french toast is not a good primer for running, FYI) before stopping off to buy a new kind of wet food at Petco (which my cat will totally not eat and will barely look at it) and eventually ending up at a bar to refuel and watch a basketball game. I started to kind of understand how basketball works but mostly I just watched the guys running back and forth in between bites of my rice bowl.

We slept in again on Sunday (though I admittedly did not sleep in as late, and I used the extra time to write) and made eggs and chicken sausage (and coffee, duh) for breakfast and lounged around for the next few hours. We watched the documentary The True Cost, which is a horrifying expose about the price that the poorest in other countries pay so we can buy a $5 tank top at H&M. Result: I’m halting my long-time obsession with cheap shit at Old Navy and expensive-except-when-on-sale shit at Gap. I’m OK paying more for clothing as long as people aren’t dying to make it. /end rant

We made a plan to meet up at the movies after I went to a yoga class and we saw Captain America. This really should’ve been called “Avengers 3″ as it was not solely about Captain America at all. And it was really long. I enjoyed some parts but watching a bunch of characters that you know won’t be killed off fight gets old really quickly. 

The night ended with Game of Thrones, which I didn’t really pay attention to. When I did look at the screen, it looked like a medieval version of The Walking Dead

I also finally bought a Roomba and although Playbill didn’t know what to make of it, she did enjoy the box and I caught this adorable shot. She totally has Pixar eyes. 

My New Roommate

I’d like to introduce the cat I rescued a week ago. I’ve named her Playbill. She’s a small 8-year-old tuxedo cat that I met at a pet adoption event at Petco with an organization called Anjellicle Cats two weeks ago. When J and I met her, she stuck her paw out of the cage at us and we melted. She’d been living in Petco for the last month and was becoming depressed and on a hunger strike. I went back to play with her a few days later at Petco in a stress-free environment (i.e. there weren’t 200 people walking in and out) and I said FINE, I’ll adopt her. This was such a big decision because I’m 100% indecisive, always. After attending the required “new pet adopters” seminar the following Sunday, I paid the adoption fee and asked if they could drop her off the next night. 

A woman from the organization came by last Monday with her in a carrier and let her out and she instantly started running around and sniffing. She hopped on the couch and tried burrowing into the pillows. She ran under the couch and the bed (she cleaned under my bed by pushing out all of the dust bunnies, so thank you, kitty) for a bit.

J met her (again) on Thursday night when he came over and she is not afraid of strangers at all. Various friends met her on Saturday afternoon and she sat said her hellos and then just watched us from afar.

On Saturday J and I went to Petco and bought a scratching post, a bed, a brush, and a couple of toys to go with the ones that my mom sent a few days earlier. (Her favorite toy is still the catnip-filled hedgehog that I bought for her on Thursday!) She figured out what her bed was for in less than a day and claimed a pillow on my couch. She knows how to use her litter box perfectly and I applause whenever I see her using it (positive reinforcement, right?). She eats a ton and runs around the apartment and hasn’t scratched anything yet (knock on wood). 

On her first night, she woke me up once; on the second night she won’t me up twice and I got up to make sure everything was okay. I emailed Anjellicle to make sure her behavior was normal (it was) and they said, “This is her way of checking to make sure her new human is still there. When she meows at night, she’s saying, ‘New human, are you still there, new human?’” Awe. So, now if she meows in the middle of the night, I tell her I’m still here and that’s the end of it. She hasn’t woken me up in the last three nights though, so that’s nice (again, knock on wood). 

So overall, I’d say this was a great decision. It’s nice having an animal around and, as you can, she’s super adorable. 

My friend Ben put it best on Saturday why he, and myself as well, likes cats: “I realize that most of my friends are like cats. They want your attention sometimes, but not all the time like dogs do. If you had a friend that needed your attention 24/7, you’d stop being friends with that person.”

An Upper West Side Weekend

I spent all weekend in my ‘hood. I really like my ‘hood and I wasn’t seeing a show, so I didn’t have a real reason to leave. Additionally: this weekend was for being lazy. On Friday night I watched Gone Girl (for the millionth time) and colored a page in my “art therapy” coloring book. I basically just vegged. It was the nicest. After pouring myself into bed before 11pm, I woke up at the crack of 8am to head to my 9am yoga class. It’s an advanced class and is always hard but this was by far the hardest class my teacher has ever taught. I was dying and I also set a record for the most calories ever burn in one 90-minute yoga class (478 calories to be exact).

I spent the next couple of hours relaxing (and eventually showering) before Justin came over and we went to get coffee at the Hungarian Pastry Shop (somehow I was still exhausted) and he suggested watching John Adams. (Meh. It’s good, but sort of slow.) We headed out into a rather mild winter evening to The Ellington on 106th and Amsterdam for dinner with my folks. I like brunch at The Ellington better than dinner, but it was good anyways. After saying goodbye, we ended the night at new Amity Hall on 109th and Amsterdam (the location used to be another Pourhouse) to watch some football and have a drink. I fell asleep to another episode of John Adams later in the evening.

It poured all day on Sunday. In the brief break we got in between downpours, I ran out to Absolute Bagel to pick up the freshest bagels ever and we made coffee and started to wake up. Multiple cups of coffee later, we made ourselves semi-presentable and took a long walk to Petco to look at adoptable cats. There was a really sweet one named Grace that seemed really calm. Shortly after, we tried another new bar near my apartment, The Hamilton, which used to be ‘The ‘Dam,’ until it closed suddenly and without notice. The bartender was Scottish with a heavy accent and he was really friendly. They’re still trying to find their way into the neighborhood but with their prices and selection of craft beer, I have no doubt they will. Both of our meals were delicious and our bill came out to $29.

After we finished eating, we took out the chess board that we’d ordered (him, rather – it was really him) and played. I’d never played Chess before and I had a lot of trouble remember which pieces could move which directions and how. I felt like a dope, but he showed me how to beat him and I tried not to let my ego get too down on itself.

Back at my apartment, I worked on something for work in my bedroom while more John Adams was watched in the living room. That show, while interesting, bored me to tears. While perusing Netflix after, we found the documentary “The Nightmare,” about 8 people who suffer from sleep paralysis. It freaked me out, for sure, while my dude just laughed.

It was a good Upper West Side weekend. New places, new experiences, and I definitely remembered to enjoy the day.

Sunday in the Heights (of Morningside)

After a great Friday night at Salvation Taco and an extremely relaxing and reenergizing Saturday, I spent Sunday morning watching a few episodes of The Leftovers (apparently it gets better after the first couple of episodes that I’d watched, says everyone). After I headed over to Columbia University’s campus where the weekly farmer’s market was – almost bought some of those Pink-a-Boos, but instead went with some apples, string beans, and sweet potatoes, and that little pumpkin (does anyone know how you keep a pumpkin fresh?). 

I looked for the For Dummies guide in Book Culture that I’d sold to them last year but they didn’t have it unfortunately. But incase you’re looking for a number of books on Marxism, they have those in spades.

Last on my walk around my neighborhood was the Petco on Columbus Avenue. The beautiful animal above is 2 years old and named Felicia. I didn’t want to adopt a long-haired but she was so sweet and mellow and apparently if you brush them often enough, they don’t shed. So I submitted an application to adopt her. We will see what happens.

I ended the day with a vinyasa and meditation class and a few more episodes of The Leftovers

Not a bad day at all.