In a Flash

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I love summer flash storms like the one we had just now. Right before it happened, it was so muggy and hot and the cats were dragging themselves bellies to the floor (when they were moving, that is) and you felt all sweaty and like you couldn’t stand it anymore and them BOOM! All hell broke loose and suddenly there were sheets of rain covering everything and if I’m not mistaken there were even ice pellets crashing down and the cats were freaked by the thunder and noise and ducked for cover and trembled—poor things—and the skylight sounded like it would shatter from all the pounding it was taking and BEST of all was the great big breeze that was blowing everywhere which made it seem like a whole bunch of fresh new air was being created which made me want to run out and take it all in and get soaking wet. But I didn’t. Just the thought of it was good enough for me today. They’re predicting lightning showers tomorrow but I don’t know if it’ll be quite the same kind of dramatic show we got today. Aside from the obvious physical aspects of it, what I love about sudden thunderstorms too is that it always serves me as a reminder that the weather and moods can act in similar ways. Both are beyond our control—though you can decide to cover yourself with an umbrella or give the feelings time to simmer down before acting on them—both can be very disruptive too but sometimes that’s actually a good thing. Clears the air for other things.

In other news:

I got my birthday present today: Jo Malone Basil, Lime and Mandarine body lotion and Wild Fig and Cassis Cologne. Splendid. Both. Together: Divine. I’ve also gotten samples to send over to France as someone I know over there will surely go wild over these marvelous fragrances.

Mimi was an absolute doll while I gave her a bath today. She’s no pushover and she made sure to get the message across that she wanted out of there, but there was no undue struggle and I was even able to leave her unattended for short periods of time which made the whole experience almost pleasant. As for Fritz, I don’t even want to try to find out how freaked out he would be.

Finally (for now) they’ve announced that we’ll have an hour reserved for us tomorrow at the lovely outdoor swimming pool, which should be nice (showers and all), except for the fact that I’m traumatized at the idea of donning a swim suit. So very little clothing doesn’t sit well with me in my almost middle-age. I have been wearing shorts in public lately so maybe I won’t bother undressing at all and take myself and the shorts right to the springboard.The animator who will be with us is a rather very large woman who has made it clear she was no qualms about getting half naked and jumping right in there, which makes my concerns seem really absurd. But then anyone with body issues will know what I’m talking about. I’m tempted to say I’ll make a challenge out of this outing but no, not this time. I’ll just play it by ear.

Painting: Passing Storm –
Distant Clouds with Flash
Oil on Canvas
Richard Herman

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Mimi & the Daisies, Fritz Going Crazy

Mimi & the Daisies

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You could say that handling plants is not my forte. I seem to have a talent for killing them in record time. This doesn’t stop me from buying potted flowers around this time of year and doing my best to keep them alive as long as they accept to live with me. The nice old lady at the market told me these just need about four hours of sun and some watering every day. I think I should be able to manage that. Mimi was quite taken with the new arrival. So much so that I was considering making her responsible for the flowers. That was until she started chewing at the new blooms… Oh well, guess I’ll have to do that all by myself too then.

Right after Mimi had her moment with the flowers, Fritz tried to kill me. I was picking him up at the vet where I’d left him this morning for some tests. Based on the message they left me late in the afternoon, they seemed anxious for me to take him back. He was lying inside the tiny litterbox at the back of the cage, growling and totally freaked out when I got there. The technician seemed afraid to handle him—apparently he’d been “difficult” all day—so I offered to do it myself. Good thing I had the presence of mind to put on protective gloves, because when I reached in, Fritz reacted as if I was his arch-enemy closing in for the kill. As he was fighting off what could have been my bloody stump by then, he managed to poop himself too, poor dear. The technician cleaned him up, seeming grateful that I was dealing with the savage beast. Then we put the cat in the bag and that was that. So now it’s really really really official: that cat is seriously mental. Apparently I shouldn’t blame myself and it’s not my fault. That’s good to know.

Drowning My Sorrows

I feel absolutely heartbroken tonight, but I keep forgetting why. Then it comes back to me and I do my best to drown my sorrows in reading and movies because thinking about it doesn’t help. Have seen two movies so far: The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves playing an alien come to save the planet from further human destruction and Jennifer Connelly, a scientist desperately trying to convince him that we as a species are capable of change and that we will turn things around and start taking better care of our planet (I say the aliens should have gone ahead with their original plan and gotten rid of us because it’s my belief the planet doesn’t stand a chance while we’re still around) and then Doubt with Philip Seymour Hoffman playing a likeable priest and Meryl Streep as the school principal intent on driving out our good priest based on her certainty (but no proof whatsoever) that he has abused one of the students.

Now I’ll have to watch a third movie to lighten the mood around here because after those two more or less depressing movies, I still have a vivid image of Fritz crouching just ten feet away from me to take a piss on the floor while looking at me straight in the eyes. It was all the more infuriating since I had just this week gotten him these puppy training pads which are like diapers you put down on the floor and Fritz seemed to have really taken to them, which had me breathing a big sigh of relief, but that was all ruined when he decided to relieve himself with both middle fingers stuck out at me. At this point I’ve decided to leave him outside for as long as possible as a precaution for his own safety. Once I stop having vivid fantasies about all the ways I could skin and torture him, then I’ll let him in again. Next week we’ll be going to the vet and seeing if he has a physical problem and if he doesn’t, I’ll ask about putting him on antidepressants because this behavioral problem needs to be fixed, and soon before I do something I really regret.

I Choose Life! But which one?

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You’d think that looking for a kitten to come live with Fritz and I would be a barrel of fun right? That’s what I thought it would be like too, but in no time this latest project has turned into yet another angst-fest. My mother [hi mum!] always makes fun of me because I have a hard time choosing anything and she’s right… it’s beyond ridiculous. Especially when it comes down to ice-cream flavours and colours of handbags (I got both the colours that time) and which book I should read next (actually, that one’s easy, thank God). Basically, when the choosing involves small things of no consequence I can see that my inability to choose is kind of ridiculous and sort of funny. But then when it comes down to big decisions it just all get blown out of proportion and before you know it I feel like I have a monster with 37 giant heads chasing after me and I have to figure out which head I need to hit on first for the monster to go away or else I’ll… die! (Gasp). Well not really, but there’s some kind of drama involved. Sometimes it almost feels like that and usually I take care of the problem by just sleeping it off. I figure: a) either an answer will come to me in my sleep or b) maybe the problem will go away or c) I’ll get mad at myself for being such a big flake and just choose already. All this over a kitten. A kitten! I can see that this is a topic that could have me writing until tomorrow morning, but I have things to do tomorrow, so I’ll be as efficient as I can and outline some facts for you, and then maybe you can help me extirpate myself from this latest quagmire:

• I am dead set on getting a rescue cat. I’d gladly adopt a cute little tramp if it sat in front of my door and asked nicely for me to adopt it, which would take care of the choosing business, but none seem to be forthcoming these days.

• Adopting an animal it a big commitment which I take seriously. A cat’s lifespan nowadays is anywhere between six and 20 years, depending on several factors. So it’s basically a 20-year commitment. That’s way longer than most marriages nowadays.

• I already have a cat; a lovely five year-old slender grey tabby. Goes by the name of Fritz (not his actual name). I’ve had him since he barely fit in the palm of my hand and I dote on him and love him to bits. Which is part of the problem. Because he’s spoiled rotten. I’ve seen Fritz reacting to other animals and it’s not good. So I expect that he’ll be just as aggressive—if not more so—if he sees another cat invading his space and taking attention off him.

• Looking at the local SPCA’s Petfinder pages, there are dozens of options. From underage kittens who aren’t quite ready to be adopted yet to brother and sister combos, available together or alone (but the thought of separating them breaks my heart). There are young teenaged cats and of course, plenty of mature cats too. I want them all. The cute ones and the funny-looking ones, the sick ones and the pregnant ones, I want every which one of them. They all need care and I’d feel honoured to be able to provide a loving and stable home for them.

• I live in a downtown apartment and my landlords put a clause in the lease that says I’m not to have pets. When I’d been here and I asked them to allow a cat to live with me because I was lonely, they recanted. But I’m not sure mentioning a second one is such a good idea. Oops. Just realized my landlady sometimes reads my blog [Hi Jackie!]. As I was saying, I’d love to take all these cats (AND dogs) looking for a home to live with me in my big ol’ country home… except I don’t happen to have one at this time.

• Looking at the cats on Petfinder has me on the verge of tears the whole time because I feel like if I pick one, I choose to give it a good life, but then, what about the others?

• Looking at the cats on Petfinder has me on the verge of tears the whole time because, what if I choose a cat or kitten and somehow make the wrong choice and then Fritz never adapts to that particular cat or kitten and goes from violent hissing and mewling (that’s a given) to perpetual brooding? What then?

• Looking at the cats on Petfinder has me on the verge of tears the whole time because I wish I could get to meet each and every one of them and hang out for a while so we could establish which ones would be happiest to live with Fritz and I and which ones just can’t be bothered. That would help narrow down the selection.

• Looking on PetFinder has me on the verge of tears and then I realize that a lot of the animals are in foster homes which means that I myself could offer to help out that way. And that would be a little bit like doing what I was talking about before. Then Fritz and I and the foster kitty (and future permanent resident) could all choose each other! Which would be way cool. And sort of reminds me of the plot of “Ensemble, c’est tout” by Anna Gavalda. Only it’s set in Montreal instead of Paris and all the principal characters save one are cats! You think I should start writing the script?

• The only problem with the scenario above is it wouldn’t work. As we all know cats hate change. And Fritz having a series of cats to get used to is… something I’d rather not think about.

• Somehow I’ve decided that the odds for success are better if the cat is a female kitten. Because there won’t be that whole territorial and dominance thing. But then I read on web that male cats get along best with other male cats. So then I think that it could be a male or female but it should still be a kitten. Why a kitten? Because kittens are cute and cuddly and I’ll for sure be googoogaga about it and Fritz might eventually let his guard down and becomes like the big brother or something (or that dog up there). That’s the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario has Fritz eating the kitten for dinner. Poor kitten. :-(

• Where was I? So late! Must get to bed… no time for edits, so I’m serving all this up pell-mell. Which actually gives you the best insight of how it’s all swimming around in my head and making me more and more confused. Maybe I should just get a lizard or something. A big one that Fritz won’t try eating of course.

Cat Peeved

I am NOT a happy camper today. I can’t stand the state of my apartment and was going to start vacuuming and washing the floors yesterday, only my plans have been thwarted by the fact that I can’t stand on my legs for more than five minutes at at time. It’s that time of the month and this one’s a painful motherfucker. So I’m sitting on my computer this morning and, while it’s true the litter-box is close by, I thought I’d been noticing the cat pee smell getting stronger? And yet, Fritz wasn’t using his cat-box lately so I figured maybe he was going outside since he practically lives out there? And then I went and inspected the floor more attentively? And found fresh piss tracks. And then I checked the other doorways for fun? And found MORE piss tracks. I’m so mad a Fritz at this point that I’ve stuck him outside as much as possible today to give time to the murderous rage to simmer down. I started letting him out when he started peeing indoors like this, several years ago. Now I let him out as much as he wants. Until midnight, because I don’t want him prowling out there and waking me up at dawn. I know cats rule the household but there’s a freakin’ limit. Apparently he finds that me not giving in the his every single demand to get outside gives him reason enough to turn this place into a giant cat toilet for fuck’s sake. I’ve got this product that you’re supposed to apply after cleaning the affected areas to dissuade the animals from returning there, and the stuff doesn’t smell bad, but for some reason every time I get a whiff of it I get even more angry. Nothing like the scent of room sanitizer mixed with cat pee to cheer up a hormonal woman, right? Ok. I’m done. I can’t sit up anymore.

Oh just this: I won’t necessarily be blogging every day from now on. Hopefully quality will replace quantity.

Because you’ve all been dying to know I’m sure…

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…Fritz is doing fine.

I just realized that it’s been a little bit over a week since I took him to the vet, and I hadn’t given further news about him. Well I tried giving him his medication for a couple of days after the visit to the vet and I quickly realized that if I kept that up, Fritz was likely to walk out on me for good or report abuse or something. I was supposed to administer his medication to him three times a day for a week, but the whole thing was such and ordeal, and I had to use so much force to restrain him just so I could stick that syringe thing in the exact spot where it would make him open his mouth and swallow… I ended up with most of the product on me and the rest he mostly spit out, so I decided if he had enough energy to fight off his treatment like that, then he was good to go. Thanks to all of you who sent me encouraging words or expressed concern. That was much appreciated. I’m sure Fritz would express his thanks too, if he weren’t a cat.