Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a new day

Okay, so I know the big news today is our brand new shiny president. It is, indeed, fancy and historic and gosh, just downright refreshing to have a bonafide smarty pants in the White House (it's been a while...), but my own news is just as exciting, at least for me.

Today was the first day Ratty Catty let me pet him outside.

This is big, people, especially considering I thought he'd still be mad about the forced belly session we had this afternoon. (I trapped his trusting little napping self in the office. That'll teach him to be all cute while snuggling Monkey...)

Believe it or not, I think we began to turn this most recent corner last week after Ratty and I survived a horrible incident. I had just happened to catch him (more by accident and instinct than anything else) and thought, heck, let's try a lap snuggle session. He's actually gotten pretty good at lap snuggles, when they are available. It's the holding while walking that seems to freak him out most. (This lesson, the walking, is most important because if I go anywhere other than Berkeley for school he will have to be walked through an airport metal detector...) And then there is the litter box lesson, but Erik made me abandon that experiment as it is too gross and too soon...

Anyway, much to my chagrin, I hadn't noticed that Ratty had already begun peeing shortly after I caught him. It's been a while since I scared the pee out of him, so this alone should have convinced me to call the whole thing off. But instead, when I did notice I figured, whatever, I'm already peed on, right? Only, the trouble is, he was still freaked out, so he started in with the bunny kicking. He won't bite me and he won't scratch me with his front claws, but man will he bunny kick. So once he got me bleeding pretty good (on my poor fleshy belly parts), I decided it was time to abandon the plan. He then launched out of my lap, peeing in mid air as he left.

Now in case you were wondering, you know you have become a crazy cat lady when you look down and see that 66% of your couch is peed on and all you are thinking is what interesting splash patterns the flying pee has left.

Anyway, I cleaned up and I fully expected to see very little of Ratty for a few days. Instead, he came up to me that very same evening (and the next one as well), offering me his head to pet while I sat in front of my computer (not blogging). A couple days later he met me on the landing by the cat nip garden, where the normal cats greet me. Of course, he didn't let me touch him but he was very distinctly there to see me. Shortly after he followed me into the laundry room. Laundry supervision is definitely not his thing. Then two days ago he followed me down the driveway to my car - again, completely unprecedented. And then, tonight, the highlight. A little timid head scratching in the driveway. I'm so happy.

Which is great, cuz, well, I could use some happy as I'm still anxiously waiting to hear from the Law School in the Bush and my tolerance for suspense is extremely low. Each day I waffle between optimism and disappointment, heavy on the disappointment. And this has not been so great for the wagon riding, if you know what I mean.

Mostly I just feel like a big dork because thanks to my obsession I can scarcely enjoy the acceptances I already have (oh, though I did get my first rejection, thank you, Stanford...) and I know that even being considered by Law School in the Bush is a big fat honor. And if and when I do get in, it's not like my life becomes a rose garden or anything. Then everything is super duper extra complicated because I'll have to choose between the place I already call home and the freezing cold far away place with more prestige and a higher price tag. It's just, I really really want to get in. And I know I have borderline numbers and they know I will come whenever they call me, and so I am forced to wait. I just so suck at waiting.

So though my presence on the wagon has been spotty lately (there is ice cream and soda in my fridge!), I believe I am off to the gym now, cuz I do find exercise is a great therapy. I must say, though, that it makes me strangely weepy, which is, I'm sure, part hormones, but I think it's mostly cuz all my fatty fatness is filled with sad thoughts of inadequacy. And so when I make those million little fat cells burst open they remind me of how they got there in the first place... I mean, seriously, a Tarzan cartoon nearly had me in tears the other day and don't even get me started on that awesome pilot who did not kill all his passengers in the Hudson...

Oh, and I do recognize it is mean and petty to have nicknamed my fellow gym members (you know, Heavy Cologne Guy and Super Sweaty Hairy Woman), so in the spirit of fairness, if I had to nickname myself, I would be either Red Faced Woman Who Needs to Brush Her Hair Better or maybe Red Faced Woman Who Really Shouldn't Wear That.

Anyway, I know I have all but abandoned my seal stories, but I had my first rescue of the new year this Sunday - a juvenile male otter, just 6 kgs, who, of course, died in transport like they all do. He sure was a cutie, though. It's gross, I know, but if I had been allowed to keep the pelts of all the otters I've "rescued" through the years, I'd have a pretty damn fine jacket or something. I think I'd make it into a pillow case actually. But then, of course, the cats would just pee on it and that would be depressing.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

happier new year

Wow, um, sorry to start the year with such a downer of a post.

I'm happy to report that things are nearly back to normal in the Princess Parasite household. As for the fight I picked, while I regret that it was ill-timed and uncharacteristically uncomfortable, it looks like it may have actually made a difference. As painful as it was, it seems we needed to flush the wound, remove some dead tissue, and we may be headed towards an actual real life grown up type compromise.

In other words, I'm winning.

It doesn't necessarily feel exactly like winning, but it feels a lot less stressful than when no one was winning. Or when I was maybe losing. And less stress is just what I need these days especially as I have once again resumed my delightfully torturous telephone watching vigil. Oh, Law School in the Bush, is tomorrow the day you will profess your love?

In the meanwhile, I have joined my friend Oprah in her quest to get back on the wagon. I will not, however, join her in posting photos of my current self next to my formerly skinny self. In fact, my new profile picture (like my last one) dates back nearly six years. This particular picture makes me smile most not because I was thin, but because it was taken on a significant seal day for me - my very first day in charge. The circumstances were somewhat scandalous (I was posing with a freshly dead otter all Weekend at Bernie's style) so the photo's been kept under wraps for a while. Now that my retirement is imminent and no one seems to care about otters any more, the picture has finally gone public.

Anyway, back to the wagon stuff. I've been good TWO whole days in a row. Not bad for me lately. Yesterday I went to the gym super bright and early. Everything was fine and dandy until I left. I was dismayed to find my olfactory system accosted by the heavenly scent of Dolly's Donut shop across the way. Morning = donuts, so today I went to the gym in the afternoon. Instead of yummy donuts, I found myself surrounded by the smell of old man. Heavy Cologne Guy was stinking up my favorite cardio machines. Seriously, who wears cologne to the gym? Anyway, so I was forced to kill time doing the resistance circuit with Super Sweaty Hairy Woman. At least today, for once, she was lifting weights before hitting the bike so she was only hirsute, not yet slick. And I am grateful that I found Heavy Cologne Guy already in action. The last time I encountered him I was halfway through my work out and had to decide whether to abandon ship or stay the stink-filled course. A horrible choice. So now I am thinking about setting an alarm for tomorrow as running the donut gauntlet is way preferable to encountering Heavy Cologne Guy and Super Sweaty Hairy Woman...

Anyway, I did have two serious high points to my day. First, my hubby came home from his orthodontist appointment with a present for me - my very own pair of fake teeth wearing real sample "Smart Clip" braces from 3M Unitek. He knew I would love them the minute he first saw them so he asked his doctor for them. Then, of course, he immediately regretted expressing interest for once he was denied he could no longer risk just pocketing them. Well, today he was rewarded for his honesty as the dentist found a spare pair somewhere and so he decided to share. Yay, me.

My second highlight came when I got home from the gym. I had paused on the front stairs to pet OC (who head bonked me with considerable force - very sweet and usually reserved for expressing hunger...). Much to my surprise, I heard a faint meow from the deck above. Ratty Catty was, for the first time ever, drawing deliberate attention to his presence. He is normally a very quiet, if terribly leaky, cat and the only time he'll vocalize is when he is looking for Monkey. Today he was looking for me. Of course, he wouldn't let me touch him or anything, but it's a start. And considering he is on high alert (yesterday he got cornered for flea poisoining), it's a major victory.

Anyway, now I believe I am off to the grocery store. I have waited just long enough that Erik will be getting up to go to work when I come home. Thus he will most certainly want to help me lug all the damned bags up our bazillion stairs. I know, I know, unloading the car is exercise, but I had plenty of that already today...

Friday, January 02, 2009

happy? belated new year

So I always have a lame time on New Year's Eve. Too much build up, I think, not enough planning. Not that I do anything particularly exciting for any holiday, really, but New Year's - New Year's is consistently disappointing.

I am sorry to report that 2009 was no exception.

Except, it kinda was. I did have some serious laughs (singing karaoke and playing Balderdash with the nieces) and I also enjoyed a new-to-me ritual (tossing into a fire things to leave behind and things to look forward to...), but the fun was totally eclipsed by the big fight I picked with my husband first thing this morning.

Since my blog is only popular with folks who actually know me and my husband, I won't say anything more, except it's 3 a.m. and I am still awake cuz I recognize the importance of not going to bed mad.

I think I'm mostly mad at myself. This morning was not a nice time for fight picking, if there even is such a thing as a nice time for fight picking... But more so I am mad at myself because I can't find the solution. This fight I picked is one I've been picking at for months. Each time I discover the same messy wound under the same festering bandage. Every time the pieces look even less and less like they'll ever fit back together. Each time everyone's feelings are a little more tender, the anger a little more raw.

I only wish that "drinking to excess" was not one of the items I said goodbye to in the fire last night. Cuz going to bed drunk is not the same as going to bed mad. It's just the waking up hungover (and extra fat) part I refuse to deal with anymore. But you know, come to think of it, I have a fondness for just about everything I put on my farewell list last night. And all of the things to look forward to are big and scary and grown up. Ugh. 2009, please be gentle with me...

For now all I am looking forward to is scooping the litter box. I'm only hoping that Ratty was watching while Monkey made his recreational visit to the stencherator. That was the whole idea, after all - Ratty always wants to do whatever Monkey does, and Ratty needs to learn to use the cat box - but suddenly the idea seems, well, like it stinks.

Oh, but there has been one bright spot already in this brand new ominous year. While we were away on the two day drama filled road trip from hell, Ratty Catty did not pee on our bed. I am sure it was not from lack of trying. Instead, it is because my brilliant husband battened down the hatches (or in this case, the canopy). I feel like fricking Dorothy discovering that I had the power to go home all along...

Small favors, right?