Other people cats are a more fun to watch than my own because cats belonging to other people don’t flare my temper by galloping through the house at 3:34 am or shitting on the floor. Other peoples cats don’t shed in my house or scratch on my furniture. I don’t have to put other people’s cats in timeout for chewing on their brother’s thigh (weirdos). I don’t have to beg other people’s cats to eat their dinner, reminding them that they liked the can of tuna and chicken yesterday. If you, too, have five cats in your home, you probably understand where I’m coming from. If not, you are a fortunate soul. Allow my life to be a cautionary tale.

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In case you’re wondering why I still consider myself a reluctant cat owner:

Fucking cat.

My Cat Caught Fire

April 2, 2020 — 5 Comments

[No animals were harmed in the making of this post.]

Judging a parent’s ability to manage their children used to be easy. While observing kids eating candy from a dirty floor, crossing the street into oncoming traffic, or cramming objects into an electrical outlet (to name a few), I’d smugly think, ‘If that were my kid, I’d never let it do that.’

Then I got cats.

As a guardian to five of them, I’ve fucked up, too. They’ve been locked in closets, kicked in dark hallways, and even lost in the attic that one time. Because of this, my priggish viewpoint when bearing witness to ignorant or unruly children has evolved to one of pity. Besides, who am I to judge since my deaf cat caught fire this past Sunday?

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To most, a cat owner is often stereotyped as being asocial or a solitudinarian. To these shallow cretins, people with cats are as pestiferous as the agoraphobic, online gamers, and those with an addiction to porn so severe it makes God ashamed for inventing sex organs. But 87% of you who are reading this know the truth: cat owners can be just as social as any average person; therefore, they bear just as much responsibility for preventing the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing as you.

But cat owners have an advantage, a built in defense against socialization that 74.6% of households lack: the combination of a lap and an entitled cat.

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Because of my cavus feet, I sat in a narrow waiting room of my ortho’s office this morning. I became anxious for the nurse to announce my name because the space embodied frowzy. The fluorescents in the ceiling cast a sickly, greenish tint onto the cheap, beadboard-panel walls. The dull, laminate floor tiles conveyed a history of abuse, marred by years of scuffs and scratches. The worn and frayed cushioning of the benches recalled a color palette from the Brady-era, indicating decades of negligence in upgrading the lobby furniture. There’s no telling how many stranger farts those passé cushions absorbed over the decades, and this troubled me.

To distract my attention, I pondered a recently-viewed episode of a documentary series about how our brain paints a picture of reality based on learned sensory clues such as shadows, light, and depth. What I found fascinating, though, is how the mind can be tricked into overlooking something right before your eyes until it is pointed out to you such as a spelling error or a stain or a series of poor life choices that result in a lengthy era of multiple cat adoptions.

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Predator Face

March 8, 2020 — 7 Comments

His foster name was Joshua. Not very clever, but I suppose if you were tasked with naming half a dozen new cats a day like the good people at Memphis Pets Alive, your well of memorable names would run dry, too. If it were up to me, I’d open a random page of the dictionary, close my eyes, and point. Some potential adopters may disapprove, but let’s be honest; you’d never forget a name like Froth, Pusillanimity, Nudie, or Hepaticocholangiogastrostomy.

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Damien Leonard Vaughn/Booth

February 22, 2020

Shortly after publishing last week’s entry, I realized that I haven’t properly introduced the new additions to our family. This is unusual for me since my favorite topics are myself and my cats. So let me remedy that by introducing you to the first of two of our most recently acquired heathens.

In August of 2018, my husband and I stopped by the pet store because our three remaining wallet leeches required food. I assume you’ve read at least one news article about a cat (or cats) showing respect for their neglected, deceased caregiver by snacking on their cadaver. I have, and it’s this fear that drives me to the pet store every week to stock up on sustenance so they won’t eat me while I sleep. The next time your cats gather at your feet and meow as you prepare their breakfast, know that they aren’t vocalizing their gratitude or anticipation. They’re telling you that you’re lucky you woke up to feed them when you did.

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Why Are They Such Slobs?

February 16, 2020 — 10 Comments

I believe I would get more writing done if the cats weren’t such slobs; of course, having five of them doesn’t help the floors get any cleaner.

Because of Predator Face’s hare lip and deviated septum, he frequently sneezes large wads of snot onto the walls and furniture. I’m not sure if any of you have had to clean up your cat’s phlegm. If you have, then you may have also be wondering why it hasn’t been marketed as an adhesive. We’re talking a military-grade glue.

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And Then There Were Four

January 26, 2018 — 16 Comments

I think it was about 7:30 at night when Mr. Tiddles released his last breath. I’m guessing. My sobbing kept me from noticing. I cradled his body against my chest and repeated how sorry I was when his distended stomach collapsed one last time. I felt powerless and inadequate. I didn’t want him to hurt. I didn’t want him to panic. But I had no power over either. That is why I apologized, because I couldn’t do anything but hold him and wait.

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The “Cat Said” Method

December 6, 2016 — 16 Comments

If I recall my first encounter with manipulation, my memory will pull me back to swinging on the Lafayette Elementary School playground during recess. A pendulum of children occupied every seat, but Patricia and Amanda felt entitled to a turn. Among the dozen of peers, the two popular yet spoiled puppeteers of young boys selected me.

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My Cat Tried Blinding Me

October 31, 2016 — 5 Comments

Blind Murphy ruined my Sunday by attempting to gouge out my eyes.

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Shit Scissors: A Poem

October 14, 2016 — 9 Comments

I was bored so I wrote a poem about a handy tool cat owners keep handy.
Shit Scissors: A Poem

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I often worry that too many new cat owners have unrealistic assumptions when it comes to the expectations and responsibilities of sharing your home with one or more cats. Because of their romanticized preconception of cat behavior (and for that I blame cat food commercials that hire supernaturally unfinicky actors, cat litter ads that hire one of the few cats alive that actually cover their disgusting waste, and Sarah McLachlan), these stereotypically lonely yet good intentioned people quickly regret their decision. This can result in lashing out when the cat behaves as nature intended it to, returning the cat like an unwanted gift after Christmas, or re-homing the cat who thought it finally found its forever home.

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I often worry that too many new cat owners have unrealistic assumptions when it comes to the expectations and responsibilities of sharing your home with one or more cats. Because of their romanticized preconception of cat behavior (and for that I blame cat food commercials that hire supernaturally unfinicky actors, cat litter ads that hire one of the few cats alive that actually cover their disgusting waste, and Sarah McLachlan), these stereotypically lonely yet good intentioned people quickly regret their decision. This can result in lashing out when the cat behaves as nature intended it to, returning the cat like an unwanted gift after Christmas, or re-homing the cat who thought it finally found its forever home.

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Nine years ago, Mr. Tiddles was left behind when his owners moved away. As a matter of fact, the rumor was that when his former owners left, the cat was stranded inside the empty apartment with nothing more than an open bag of cat food. When the new tenant moved in, she kicked him out. With nowhere to go, Mr. Tiddles wasted his days roaming the apartment complex’s parking lot, crouching under parked cars for shade and lapping up the dirty water that collected in the potholes.

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