Sunday, October 30, 2011

Evilcat is Evil.

We tried a new kind of cat litter and Evilcat disapproved. She demonstrated her displeasure by pissing all over everything in the house. Pillows, blankets, dog beds, towels, laundry, everything soft in the house got pissed on. I spent an entire week doing laundry and then she peed all over everything again.

I decided to kill her. I headed for the bedroom to strangle the beast, where I found Z napping with Evilcat snuggled in his arms like a teddy bear and purring furiously.

Damn cat.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Descent into madness.

When I was a kid, my mother owned approximately a dozen cockatiels, lovebirds, and parakeets. One of our regular household "kid chores" was to clean all the cages and feed and water all the birds, which took forever. She kept them in the tv room where we used to watch cartoons. Looking back now, I realize that the birds all lived in cages that were much too small and had no toys or anything to entertain themselves with. They desperately tried to stave off boredom and madness by making a lot of noise. As a kid, all I knew was that they were loud as hell. They were messy and horrible, and I hated taking care of them.

People who own birds tend to become bird-magnets. Other people foist birds off on bird-owners because hey, what's a few more? This is how my mother came to own Petey. Petey was either a gray-cheeked parakeet or a bat out of hell, or possibly both. In hindsight he was a miserable animal, but as an eight year old, all I knew was that he loved to escape from his cage, fly across the room to land on my shoulder, and then bite my face severely. Any attempt to remove him from my body resulted in my hands getting chomped as well. Unsurprisingly, I developed a fear of parrots.

Eventually most of the birds died or were given away, and I grew up and moved out and got married declared that I would never own birds. Ever. I hated birds. Birds were bad. Then I went back to visit my parents and heard one sad little chirp. Ernie, the cockatiel my mother bought when I was three, was still sitting sadly in his little cage in the corner of the kitchen. I had since learned all about bird care and have an uncontrollable urge to take care of animals in need. Ernie was 22 years old.

You know how bird people attract birds?

A lot of birds get dumped at the local bird shop near our old house.

And that is how I ended up with a house full of decrepit, defective, and ugly birds. They're still pretty messy, but they're not too loud when they have lots of toys and fresh foods to occupy them. The parrots have their own room where they can be as loud as they like, and huge cages for the times they can't be out playing. At 25 years old Ernie has a girlfriend, and he spends all his time preening and arguing with her. It's a good retirement for the old guy, fueled largely by my guilt over the way he spent his first couple of decades. Every so often though, I sort of wonder what happened to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chihuahua bloodbath.

Last week Tinydog picked the wrong cat to chase.

After the dust settled and all the unholy demons had been cast back into the pit of fire from whence they came, I noticed a drop of blood on my hand.

I noticed that the tiny tip of Tinydog's tiny ear was bleeding, and then Tinydog shook his head.

Of course we dashed to the bathroom to find towels or styptic powder or something to stop the bleeding. Tinydog continued to be mildly irritated by his injured ear.

At this point it is pertinent to mention that I have vaso vagal syncope blood phobia. You know that thing you see on tv where somebody faints at the sight of blood? Yeah, I have that. So there is a finite amount of medical attention I can provide before my blood pressure drops so low that I can't stand up. I ended up laying on the couch for an hour, clamping Tinydog's tiny ear against his tiny head, waiting for the bleeding to stop. Z kindly mopped up the buckets of blood off the walls, the floor, the ceiling, all of our bedding, the couch...

We learned some important information about tiny dogs that night.

1. A 6-lb chihuahua can lose approximately four gallons of blood without any ill effects.

2. Copious amounts of styptic powder will eventually stop a bleeding ear, provided the dog doesn't continue to shake his head.

3. There is no good way to securely bandage a chihuahua ear.

4. Despite their large size, chihuahua ears appear to be devoid of any sensation or ability to feel pain.

5. A soft Cone of Shame is the most effective way to keep a dog's ears from whacking against his head every time he shakes.

Tinydog, on the other hand, learned nothing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My hypothetical child.

I want to have a kid in a year or two, at which point this may become a mommy blog about diaper blowouts and projectile vomit, worthy of an honorable mention on STFU Parents. In this event, I give anyone reading this permission to either humanely euthanize me, or introduce my current self to my future self so I can slug her.

Anyway, I think about my hypothetical child a lot. I'd love to have a highly-articulate and intelligent red-headed little girl that I can dress in pseudo-goth outfits and tutus.

But I'm probably going to end up with my natural hair color on some absurdly independent kid that insists on picking all their own clothes and wears their tutu with an army jacket and a pith helmet.

And is also a boy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Adult Checklist.

Sometimes I worry that we're getting old and may have to consider ourselves actual adults. I started a mental checklist to see if we've truly gone past the point of no return.

I think we're safe for now.

Friday, October 7, 2011

May I offer you a drink?

My non-demonic cats are idiots. They fall off furniture, run into walls, and are incapable of functioning in the presence of tuna.

Like many cats, they enjoy drinking out of glasses while ignoring the perfectly good bowls of clean, fresh water we leave all over the floor for them.

My mother's cats do the same thing, so she always leaves a glass of water on the table for them. I tried that once.

I can't give them anything plastic to drink out of because one of them gets cat-acne. (Yes, this is a thing.) Once upon a time we had a bunch of adorable ceramic kitty dishes that the Hellions broke one by one. Then we started feeding them on our small dessert plates. When we started to run out of plates, we finally bought them stainless steel bowls. The poor, deprived little bastards are stuck trying to steal an illicit drink from the glasses of unsuspecting guests. It's pretty safe to say that any unattended beverage around here has been tainted with cat feet. Thirsty?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gripe, gripe, gripe.

I have congenitally bad knees. Normal human knees have two C-shaped pads of cartilage that gently cradle the rounded bottom of the femur. Each pad is called a meniscus, and the cartilage can hurt a lot if it is damaged. I have discoid menisci, mine are shaped like circles. This means that, instead of creating a nice comfy bowl for the femur to move around in, I have a big flat hunk of cartilage in each knee that gets perpetually ground down by high-impact activities like walking in a bipedal fashion. Surgery did not improve this.

So I have trouble running or doing a lot of physical activities. I also have gastroparesis, a stomach problem that prevents me from eating high fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and pretty much anything healthy.

Despite my horrible knees and my asthma, I've managed to run and hike several times a week. I stick to unpaved surfaces and wear Vibram Five-Fingers shoes. Recently, I developed exercised-induced acid reflux.

Conclusion: my body wants to be fat.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sneaky Weather.

We live on the coast of California. Once my family took a trip to Disney World. We rented a car for a day and left the resort to go visit a friend in Florida. We also stopped at the beach for a couple of minutes to dip our feet in the Atlantic Ocean. (But not more than that because getting eaten by sharks was very popular that year.)
The day was bright and sunny and beautiful as we arrived. In the time it took us to walk from the car down to the water's edge, something changed.

We went from sunny beach weather to full-blown tropical storm in mere moments. It was incredible. I've also been in the Midwest, where rogue thunderstorms roam the land at high speed and tornadoes are more than rumor. This simply does not happen on the Pacific coast. Our weather never sneaks up on you, and aside from the wildfires and the occasional earthquake, nature is pretty relaxed. Hell, we don't even get real rain here. I mean, yeah water falls from the sky, but it never rains like it means it. Not like it did when we were in Atlanta.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Night Terror of the Week.

Summer is a wacky time of year during which I teach at a very fast-paced arts program for several weeks while our entire household devolves into madness.

For the record, my snake is boy.

(Z hastens to point out that I did bring home a female hognose snake for an evening the week before this incident, but had to ask about the sex before claiming that he was night-terroring about that particular snake.)

Saturday, October 1, 2011


We had to deal with a cockroach infestation when we first moved in. I've heard of bug infestations and rodent infestations, and even a house infested with garter snakes. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if houses go infested with something...bigger.

Would we deal with it the same way?