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. 

Poverty & Pets

Last week a friend of mine found on the street and rescued a beautiful, elderly (12 year old) cat that she saw on her block one morning. She suspected it belong to people in a ‘problem’ building on her block but found him, took him to the vet with help from the shelter that she knows, and got him help. 

The condition he was in was so, so heart breaking. He was dirty, not fixed (so he was knocking up strays all over the neighborhood), five pounds underweight, had breathing problems (because his humans smoke who-knows-what in their apartment), and had cuts on his face and neck (probably from being outside, not from his humans). He stayed at the vet two nights (getting fixed, getting his shots, leukemia testing, etc) and then my friend took him home for a night to her apartment where she gave him a bath.

Unfortunately, the social worker that came in to help said that since there were no signs of abuse, they technically couldn’t remove the cat from the home just because he was neglected.

What?! If this were a child, neglect would be more than enough reason to remove it from the home. I was absolutely baffled. The humans of this cat have a four year old son, which is even more worrisome. Apparently the cat is a great source of happiness to the child, which would make it heartbreaking to take the cat away.

My friend argued that just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to have pets. I told her we’d have to agree to disagree, because I fully believe that if you have trouble taking care of yourself, don’t bring an animal into the mix and make it suffer, too. I don’t think that is a very unreasonable thing to think. 

I know there are endless cycles of poverty that I don’t know the half of because I’ve never experienced them, but I do know that I’d feel awful having a pet if I couldn’t take care of it properly. If you can’t feed and take your cat to the vet once a year, you shouldn’t be allowed to have it. End of story.

On the flip side, if you’re rich and neglect your pet, you also shouldn’t be allowed to have them either. If you’re going to adopt an animal, make sure you can properly take care of it, otherwise, don’t bother. 

My friend is going to check up on the cat and try to convince his humans that they should give it up, but who knows what’ll happen. I hope the cat is treated better this time though. 

Meditating with a Cat

For better or for worse, I usually do my morning and evening meditations sitting on my meditation pillow on my bed. Different meditation experts say different things about whether or not it’s good to meditate where you sleep, but screw it. It works for me and if it works for you too, have at it.

It’s been an interesting time for the last almost two weeks adjusting to coexisting with another living creature. Cats are weird because they need you sometimes and want nothing to do with you other times. Don’t get me wrong: that’s a good thing. 

I digress. The one time Playbill (my cat) seems to always want me is whenever I’m meditating. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s wondering where the voice of my meditation MP3 is coming from and she absolutely-must-investigate-it-now or if that’s just what she likes to do. I haven’t gotten through a single session without opening at least one eye once because she jumps on the bed or mews (I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that cats just meow, for anything or nothing, and it doesn’t always mean something’s wrong). 

I’m sure I’ll figure out how to circumvent this issue eventually, right? Right. 

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.”

Sylvia

Last Friday I went to see Sylvia, the new play about a man and his dog. I’d heard Annaleigh Ashford was killing it and I expected nothing more than a performance of a bored fish from Matthew Broderick, because let’s be honest: phoning it in is what he does best nowadays. Love him, but it might be time to retire now. 

Ashford brilliant portrays a poodle found wandering around Central Park who is adopted by the meek and equally as lost Greg (Broderick). Greg’s wife Kate (the marvelous Julie White) is bordering on fuming when he brings Sylvia home. Greg is warned by a fellow dog owner (played by Robert Sella, who plays multiple roles throughout the night) to get ready for trouble with his wife because his wife doesn’t want a dog and because it has a human name (which has some kind of psychological effect on a person). The premonition comes true but don’t worry, there’s a happy ending

Robert Sella, killing it in front of my eyes since at least 2005, was perfect in his many roles that night. He’s a brilliant comedic actor. Julie White, another favorite of mine, although not at her funniest, got lots of laughs (not her fault, but not every script can be Little Dog Laughed-level of comedic brilliance). 

I actually thought Broderick was kind of adorable. He still used that same, sort of annoying, whoa-is-me Charlie Brown voice, but it kind of worked. 

The star of the night was, of course, Ashford. She saved the revival of Rent as Maureen and I don’t think she’ll ever disappoint. She is one of the great character actors of my generation. Her physicality as a dog was perfect. I really have nothing else to say expect: perfect. And: hilarious.

It dragged a bit and it could easily be shaved down to an hour and 45 minutes with no intermission, but nevertheless, if you have a free night, go laugh out loud at Ashford. 

Kitten Sitting & What I Learned

What did I learn while kitten sitting this weekend? Kittens are a lot of work. Not a lot of work like a puppy-amount-of-work (because you don’t have to walk them and they’re smarter than dogs and a bit more independent), but they’re kind of crazy. They run and jump on everything, and when you’re not looking they show up behind your feet and you could step on them (but you don’t because they’ll yell at you first). Or they could run under a mat on the floor (see above – I think that’s her best bitch, please face) and it just kind of looks like it’s a bump in the mat, until you realize: oh, it’s a kitten

I wondered if Miko the Kitten wasn’t eating because she would never eat when I’d put her food out, but then a friend said, “No! It’s not food time when you’re there, it’s play time!” Oh, yeah. Duh. I also realized that her food was always gone when I got back again so it’s not like she wasn’t eat at all.

Kittens are also very talkative. Miko talked… a lot. I’m not sure I could handle a pet who mewed so much. It’s adorable, but I’m not a heavy sleeper, so I’d probably get woken up by the slightest mew. I also spent moments here and there trying to remember whether or not I had re-closed the bathroom door (I always did) or if she had fallen into the toilet. I don’t think she’s small enough to drown in the toilet, but still…. That wouldn’t be fun to come home to.

But… BUT… despite the mewing and the crazy energy, they are so, so cute. She was 4lbs of furry adorableness that I had a great time playing with her. I’m going to check out some kittens at the ASPCA when I get back from Scandinavia, but I think I’ll look at ones that are 6 months to a year old, and not four months old. Because the older they are, the less likely they will be to drown in the toilet. 

Last week a neighbor sent an email to my building’s list serve looking for a cat sitter for the weekend. Since I’m debating adopting a cat, I thought it’d be fun. I met my neighbors and their 4-month old kitten Miko. 

I had a lot of fun playing with her over the weekend! Kittens are super spunky though – super high energy. But adorable! I snapped the above photo on Sunday morning and thought later: It’s the Mozilla Firefox logo! 

So, so cute.