Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Reason Sub-Group 3

Anyone who says cats don't have personalities is just dead wrong.

I don't say this to be an instigator, but really, I have never known a cat that didn't have a vibe, a feeling, an attitude. Some of them, it just takes longer to find it than others. This morning, I had a bit of a run in with 'Cousin' Emmett, which both cracked me up and annoyed the hell out of me. And it got me to thinking about our little Pride.

She smiles. A lot.

Miss Z, aka Zero, aka Maow Maow, aka Pretty Girl
Well, she's sort of the ruling matriarch... except the boys don't really take her seriously. She used to be the runt of the house and was picked on or ignored quite a bit. She's the only one in the house that really actually knows that she's a cat. The other felines are nowhere near as self-aware. She adopted me as an itsy bitsy feral kitten, and that was about 7 or 8 years ago. Since she's more mature, she generally prefers to spend her days cuddling in the bed, or sitting on top of something high and looking down on the others. The boys do tend to pick on her quite a bit. Bless her heart, she's so small that she kind of takes the beating... although not quietly. Aside from her extreme disdain of the others--and her OCD regarding the litterbox--she is a really well-behaved kitty.

"I'm helping....... right?"

Bill, aka Biiiiiilllll-BO, aka Billy-Boy aka Derp-Cat
When we picked Bill up, they told us he was the last of the litter to be adopted. The adoption gal laughed and said, "Look, his mom is so relieved that you're taking him--she can finally sleep!" Normally, he's the second-best behaved cat in the house. He likes to pick on his sis now and then, but he will also cuddle with her and try to give her a bath [that's usually when things start to get violent]. He plays fetch. He'll follow you around the house. He's starting to learn that snapped fingers means "no." He's really talkative, but he doesn't quite miao. He may, in fact, be a reincarnated dog. When he sleeps, he takes up half the bed. He's a good boy most of the time... Until his cousin comes to visit...

"So this is toys?"

Ichigo, aka Ichi, aka Hey Fatass, aka WHAT!
Oh, Ichi. Bless his heart. He just doesn't know how to "cat." I'm not sure if he even knows exactly what a cat is. Slowly but surely, we are teaching him. He can't cuddle. He can't play. He can't miao--like at all. He just kind of squaks, awkwardly. He loves the smell of people food, and will climb up on the bed to beg. He is the epitome of the heavy-breathing cat meme. The smell of his poops would suffocate and kill small children. He makes sure to do so at least once a day, and I've heard tell that he has put more than one love-making event to a halt. And if that doesn't stop the lovin, he will stare at you. He and Zero tend to compete over loafing territory, and he does kind of pick fights with her. On the other hand, he and Bill get along pretty well aside from occasional playtime tumbles. Normally he's the most annoying cat in the house. Until Cousin Emmett is here...

Shown here in obnoxious trouble mode.

Emmett, aka HEY STOP IT, aka GET DOWN, aka WTF, CAT?!?!
Emmett's Real Dad is in the military, so when he goes away, guess who comes to stay? In respect to his Indian heritage, I am now his Auntie and everyone here is his cousin. But when he comes to visit, everything gets turned upside down--literally. He's a bad influence on Bill, who goes from being a sweet, well-behaved, cuddle-bug to a secondary terror. He blatantly attacks Zero. He even attacks Ichi! He climbs on everything. He walks on everything. And then he gets stuck and can't remember how to get back down. He has a backwards schedule... so, during the day he is cute and adorable because all he wants to do is hide under the covers and sleep; but once people-bedtime hits, it's playtime for him, which means bouncing off the walls and making as much noise as felinely possible. He may even attack your feet while you sleep--under the covers, or sticking out. He may climb on your face and attempt to suffocate you.

Shown here in adorable powered down mode.
So, now that you know the basics, here is what happened today that made me laugh and growl at the same time. You "train" cats with squirt bottles, right? I mean, assuming it's possible at all. Well. The most common offense for getting squirted in this house is picking on Zero. So although she doesn't like the squirt bottle, she knows that it is generally actually in her defense, and hardly ever meant for her. If she's doing something wrong [the worst she does is climb or sit somewhere inappropriate] I can usually get away with talking nice to her and/or moving her to where she belongs.

In true faux-dog fashion, Bill has learned a lot from the squirt bottle. If he's being rambunctious, all it takes is an angry look and a shake of the bottle to calm him down--and he'll usually scamper off, too. [One time his dad-folk shook the bottle at him as a joke, and not knowing what he was 'bad' for, Bill let out the saddest and most pitiful miao you could imagine. It was hilariously heartbreaking!]. He's also learning that snapped fingers mean to knock it off. Ichi at least has common sense. So when he was being a bully this morning, he got squirted. "Oh, hey, I don't like this." So he went down stairs. Logic, right?


Not for Emmett. Keep in mind, this happened in about a ten minute time span. After Bill and Ichi got their 'whoopins,' Emmett made a pass at Z. I squirted. He licked himself for a second... made another pass at Z. I squirted furiously. He retreated. Cleaned himself up, again. And then... you guessed it, dumb cat made a third attempt at picking on her! Something about the first two just wasn't enough to get through to him. He got a face-full of squirt water. Although he stayed put this time, he continued scowling her way, seeming to weigh the options in his little kitty brain. I think it was starting to sink in... 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

[Insert Clever Title Here]

I keep blogging in fitz and starts. It's true that I'm doing less than I used to, but I'm still doing enough that I should be writing about.

Not even sure where I left off, to be honest! I went on leave and visited my grandma, and when I came back I started taking my math class for the quarter. It's not particularly difficult, but it's where they wanted me after the placement exam. It's a review at least, so I'll be ready to move on... all the way up to Calc 3 [scaredface!]. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I'm going to do as far as tuition and GI Bill goes, and work. But, if I play my cards right, I might be able to get a MSE by 2020, and be working on a PhD as well! With minimum out of pocket expenses, even!

I've been slacking on crafting, arting, and even cooking. Mostly my life has been math, cleaning, and work. I'm on the night shift again, so my days are completely upside down. For some reason, I've been sleeping WAY too much lately. I'm trying to get my medication, vitamins, and minerals back on track, but it's been more of a struggle than usual. Lately I've been reading about adrenal dysfunction and how that affects... well, nearly everything, really... and I'm pretty sure that my adventures in hormonal birth control, coffee, and whatever else lifestyle choices you want to lump in there have more or less caused some sort of issue with my hormones. This is a thought I've had before, of course, but it just makes so much sense. I don't know why this isn't more well-known knowledge, or a bigger deal to more people in general. I'm going to try and take better care of myself, but it's going to be a huge struggle. I figure since this year is technically my 30th birthday [more on that joke later], it's about damn time I take care of myself. I've already started by quitting smoking, now I just need to work on a healthier diet and the right kinds of fitness. [I'm about a month in to that quitting, so let's see how much longer I can make it stick!!]

But anyways, that's not really what I wanted to write about today. As of some time today--like I said, I slept pretty much through all daylight--we recovered our house. Long story. My kitchen has been freed from the oppressor, and I celebrated by rebelliously cooking my butt off. Well, not literally, or I wouldn't be talking about diets... but anyways yeah. I make two different kinds of banana bread. I made what I think is my official Best Mac N Cheese So Far. I also experimented with meatloaf cupcakes. Although mine look nothing like anything you'll find on Pinterest, they were really tasty. Snackbar couldn't find the french-fried-onions at the store while he was out, so half-way joking I said "oh, just get Funyuns instead." Best. Joke. Ingredient. EVER. Best [non]-Mistake Ever. Crushed up, they make the BEST topping. I even put some in the meatloafs because I was running short on breadcrumbs. Delicious meal. I wish I was hungry so I could eat some more. But alas, that D-word is looming...

Friday, January 9, 2015


So, the New Year has started, and I've been busy as all get out. I was able to start college again--I'm taking one math class to get caught up before I start full-time next quarter. I spent the New Year in a hotel in SC, as I did last year, so I could visit my wacky grandma. We had a blast and went out to lunch. I had to cut my trip short to make it back for school, or I would have visited my other grandma and my dad too. I don't remember how I got into it this time, but I have started the genealogy thing again. It's a blast, and I have found some really interesting folks. So far nothing much worth noting; I keep getting stuck since a handful of my folks came from Canada and Ireland and I don't have access to those records... because I didn't pay for a world-wide account. Maybe later. 

I am very very achy today, and I'm not sure if it's because I've been going to class every day or some other reason. But I'm taking it easy today either way. I need to get to work on my letters... For the record, my medical board was denied. So I have a few more days to put together my rebuttal and request for a formal hearing. Which I should be doing now, instead of this. 

For art stuffs... Here is a glimpse at a projecting I'm doing for Dirty Jose. I couldn't find the right size canvas at first, so I coated an old one I never finished in gesso and tried my hand at it anyways. Did NOT turn out like I wanted... and while organizing a bunch of paperwork, I found the canvases that I could have sworn I'd bought before. So I'm redoing the whole thing. The quote he requested is from a Bad Religion song, and I'm trying to figure out what else I can factor in to the work to make it more cohesive. 

 One thing that is consistently making me smile, like on a daily basis, is the garden! I planted bulbs back in November, and they are starting to pop up! Although I'm pretty sure a few of them were eaten, there's enough of them left to make me grin. The garden by the kitchen window is sprouting at a rate that is noticeable daily, although I still can't see the Crocus. My extra bulbs I planted in pots, so I can take with them with if/when I move. Those Crocus are popping right up, and I can't remember what the huge ones are in the other pot, but I love having them next to the door. 
And just for fun, here is your adorable kitty pic of the day. She decided to cuddle him, which is kind of against her nature. Ever the sweet boy, Bill decided it was bath time. I guess I managed to take this when he was making an exceptionally derpy face. I missed my kitties!

In other news, after geeking out on Musical Tesla coils off and on all night, I have decided I MUST play with them.