CATS: Even though it’s horrifying, it’s actually funny.

This is Bath Salts' logo, actually. But it's like what happened this morning.

I’m sorry, I just can’t not share the magic of my Monday morning with you today.

I’m someone who has lived with cats, by choice or not, for a good 24 years out of my total 28 years of life.  Considering the frequency of my exposure to cats, my exposure to gross cat things (i.e. fleas, tape worm, poo-poo, pee-pee, hair balls, dead animals being dragged home… the list goes on…) is pretty remarkably low.

Besides the errant hair ball or the random turd nuggest flung from the litter box in a fit of post-BM cat joy I’ve only had one major incident.  Until now.  Until this morning.

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The year was 2007 and I was living in Watertown, MA with a rather large group of people in half of a house.  There were two cats there (one mine, one belonged to my roommate) and his cat was a major, ornery pain-in-the-whiskers.  She was this massive thing with a big, fat head and not the kind of big cat that is endearing, no — the kind of big cat that laid in wait to attack feet and other kitties just to pass away the fatty fat days until it’s time to go to cat heaven.  She was miserable – and my first introduction to a cat that I ‘didn’t like’ (although secretly I liked her, because for the two or three pats you could get in before she hissed at you she was still a sweet thing.  Sometimes.  Way down deep in there.  Plus I kinda pitied her…)

Anyways – I had just gotten a job at a furniture company in Framingham and I was super excited for my first day.  Not like any other job I’d had (ahem… it wasn’t in food service) I was just super psyched to not have the threat of ketchup stain and espresso machine burns FOR ONCE in my ding dang life.  So the night before my first day I laid out my outfit and hung it on the bedroom doorknob:  an angora sweater and a pretty, shimmery silk skirt that I had just gotten that holiday season.  Simple and understated, yet true to my need to wear comfy fabulous things whenever possible.

So I put the outfit on in the morning, drive the insufferable 10 miles on Route 9 out to Framingham, and spend the first half of the day kinda sniffing around – something wasn’t right.  Was it me?  Was it my new coworkers?  Was it my pits?  When was the last time I washed this sweater?  Pee-ew!  Something was subtly, horribly wrong.

Fast forward:  lunch time.  With more opportunity to investigate I found my skirt, which had been hanging on the doorknob outside of our bedroom all night, had been brutishly DEFILED by this big monster of a cat.  I didn’t even know lady cats sprayed.  I dunno, maybe she was a boy and I just didn’t know it.  In any case, I’d smelled like sickly ammonia cat pee for the first half of the day and would have to suffer it gladly for the second half.

Horrified, embarrassed, but seemingly undetected by my coworkers (it was a pretty subtle smell, surprisingly) I sat in wait until I could get the hell out of there.  P.S. if you are wondering – no, you can’t get cat piss out of silk:  you just have to throw it away.

~~~

Monday, January 2nd 2012:  A stinky start to the New Year.

Last night, I got super excited about seedlings.  It happens sometimes, and rarely at the right time in the year, but this is the closest I’ve been in a long time.  I whipped out the seed collection while JR was out-n-about (I love doing house-y things when I have the run of the place) and gleefully decided what I could start early, without confusing the hell out of the poor little plant.

We have a rocky patio outside that our landlord said we can use – most things will be growing in pots, anyways, so I decided to start my rosemary in two, small terra cotta pots (should be about two bushes by the time September gets here!)  I also started a really nice tray of habañeros and poblano peppers and cilantro.  Whoa!  Was I excited:  a south-of-the-border medley to ensure delicious, fresh salsas all summer long.

With my kitchen table full of promise for the future, I shut the lights and went to bed.

This morning, when I woke up the bed was so super comfy and the blankets and comforter so warm.  I didn’t want to get up!  So I procrastinated a little, set the alarm a couple times, had a really lazy go of it.  When I finally got up I did the usual routine:  teeth, clothes, splash splash, collect random items that migrated from the purse, breakfast.

So I go in the kitchen to get breakfast and while the rosemary pots are in tact, the tray of delicious, spicy salsa is DESTROYED.  My cats have dug in my plants before, usually in the middle of the summer when they’re on the deck and pretty easy to save.  However!  Seedlings that say they need to be 1/4″ from the surface mean exactly that – once a kitty goes digging around in there there’s little hope of that seed doing well.  In attempt to save what one of my cats (I’m pretty sure it was the gray one) obliterated I kind of tried to push the soil back where it was supposed to be, in hopes that maybe the seeds would go back with it.

OH GOD.

Cupped in my hand, within the layers of upturned soil, was a big, steamy CAT TURD.

OH MY GOD, OHMYGOD.

I was TOUCHING IT with my hand.

Apparently when I had laid out the seedling tray (of mouth-watering salsa ingredients) this big dummy thought that I was being a super-nice Cat Mom and putting together an entirely new litter box for the two of them.

He’s all like “Whoa!  You’re putting MINE on the kitchen table, Mom?  I love you so much!  Thank you!  I will poo in it now to show you how much I love it!”

I don’t normally talk to myself at home but I was carrying on big time as I ran over to the sink and began furiously washing my hands:  about 7 times or more.  As the water poured out of the tap, though, and I thought about it my swearing turned in to uncontrollable laughter.  His little feeble cat brain logic was spot-on, it was totally my fault my hands were covered in dookie right now!

So, my salsa seedlings will have to wait.  No big deal.  New Year’s resolution:  swear less, laugh more.  I think next time I’ll put them on top of the fridge…

Re-entry 2011, welcome back to Vacationland.

Well, we got back last night fresh from balmy Vermont nights (seriously, 40 degrees in December?!  Global warming is real, people!) with only three extra boxes in tow.  Which is really impressive considering I went to Vermont with ONE box full of presents so we should have returned with less.  But not me, no, not possible.

Let me explain!  The three boxes are full of genealogical manna, unleavened bread of a photophile’s wet dream from the sky.  Or from Grammie’s crawlspace.  FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS.

And we’re not talking “Trip to Asia 1998” or “The Hotchkisses Visit Disneyland 1989” (which we didn’t, p.s.) but rather a veritable treasure trove of honest-to-god silver-on-paper prints from the 1920s and 30s, a small selection from the 40s, and a resurgence in the 50s + 60s when my father and his four sisters were children.

So while I spend the next however-long-it-takes of my life addressing these wonderful items (Grammie wants them back in April when she visits) I’ll be featuring particularly fantastic ones on my blog for your viewing pleasure.

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Naturally, I am participating in the American tradition of declaring resolutions and then quickly forgetting them and doing exactly the opposite.  In no particular order:

GETRIDOFJUNK,i.e. things that are really junk, not the super-cool version of junk that must be saved, photographed and put on a special shelf in the kitchen.  GETITTOGETHER,i.e. why is the notion of putting clothes in the hamper or cleaning up cat fur tumbleweeds completely lost on me?  I suspect getting rid of junk will make getting it together a lot easier.  PHOTOGRAPHIES!  Do more.  do more art.  Start drawing, too, because it’s really fun and usually way more interesting that a photograph (oh my God it hurts to say that, but is usually true, if it’s a good drawing).  COOKNEWTHINGS!, why oh why are we stuck in a delicious brown rice and quinoa rut?  And everything we eat has sweet potato in it.  Please note:  brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato will still be regularly featured but it’s time to learn some new tricks.  SHAREMORE.  Give people gifts that they don’t expect, send photographs I think people might like to them without being asked (i.e. family pictures).  Just more surprises and nice things, in general.

Lastly, I’ve been suffering from a gradually expanding waistline.  I say suffering because today at work I had to unbutton the top button of my jeans…and this particular pair happens to have a hole (small, but a hole nonetheless) in the crotch.  Seriously, Audrey, get it together (#2).  And I’m pretty sure the hole was caused by a stress fracture in the pants’ integrity due to the girth of my thighs, vying for second place in the ‘parts of my body I am pretty sure were smaller last August’ competition.  As a consolation, I’ve found Allie Munier’s Being Bess Marvin. blog and find comfort in some familiar impulses/emotions/reactions to cheez-related foods.

I’m confused, though – I eat well (not like, ‘a lot’ well, but ‘healthy’ well), exercise regularly, dance even more frequently and have a pretty physical job.  So why does it feel like I’m packing bean bags in my pant-line?  I don’t know, but what I do know is I love bubble dresses and baby dolls, stretch pants and leggings here I come.

Art stuff on its way as soon as I can organize vacation pics and start talking to some other artists for future features!