cat tails

We have two cats. They are sisters named Jinx and Fu. We adopted them from a friend who was moving overseas when they were eight years old – what is that in cat years? – back in September 2012. Life has been a roller coaster ever since.

Jinx and Fu cat

First of all, the cats were supposed to be Quinland’s. She had been dying for a pet, and when we were at our friend Liz’s house in London, Q fell madly in love with their cat, Garfield. Besides being cute and furry and a bit wacky, Garfield had the ultimate desirable cat trait: he would come and crawl up in Quinland’s lap to be petted or just to hang out. It was true cat love. Needless to say, Q was very excited at the prospect of getting not just one but TWO cats of her very own. Visions of cat cuddling danced in her head.

Quinland broke her leg three days before the cats were due to arrive, and the prospect of weeks on the couch must have made the idea of New Cat Friends seem even more attractive. Of course, it didn’t work out that way. Between the giant neon cast and the scary scary crutches, Jinx and Fu were absolutely terrified of Q. There was no cuddling. No petting. No anything. They didn’t want to come near her. They have warmed up slightly over the last year – Jinx will even occasionally sit on her lap to be petted – but by no means did they provide the pet companionship Q was looking for.

David, it turns out, does not like having cats. He was under the impression – as was I – that cats are like teenagers: they like their own space, they want to follow their own agenda, and as long as you make sure there is food in the house, they are fine. Jinx is pretty low-maintenance like that. She also tends to party late into the night and leave the house trashed.

Yarn Fest 2013 with Jinx the Cat

Fu, on the other hand, is like a newborn. She cries when she is hungry, thirsty, or has just used her litter box and wants it cleaned. She cries when she wants attention. She cries when she is tired and wants to go to bed. She cries when she wants you to get up. The noise is absolutely driving David insane.

Fu Up Close and Personal
This is what you see when Fu is crying for you to get up.
She stands right on your chest and starts yowling.

But, just like a little baby, when all her needs have been met to her satisfaction, Fu is so dang cute. She will roll onto her back and stretch out like an otter to get her tummy rubbed. She will let you cuddle her in your arms like a doll. She talks in her sleep and snores the tiniest little snore.

My sleepy baby kitten, Fu

Like all cats, they both love containers. Jinx tries to climb on, under, or around any box (or basket or stack of books or piece of paper) she sees.

Basket full of kitty cat - Jinx

Fu likes to crawl into a comfy box for a nap, regardless of comparative size.

Fat cat. Small box. Fu napping.

I feel like I have been getting pretty good Cat Value from these two. Though I sometimes feel like I am the only one cleaning the litter box, I love to play with them and brush them and cuddle them and talk to them in silly voices. They totally know my voice and they know when I am calling them.

But they may have to find a new home. Truly, David feels that they are a serious liability. I do see his points:

  • Fu’s constant meowing is keeping us from ever getting a decent night’s sleep. With the fatigue that comes from MS (for me) and from teaching high schoolers (for David), sleep is a precious commodity. The broken-up sleep could be a big factor in how down I have felt all this year.
  • Jinx and Fu are destroying the furniture. They both scratch and claw at everything. Both arms of our loveseat are shredded. The ottoman and sofa are getting seriously clawed. The carpet upstairs is being torn up bit by bit. As David says, “We are paying money (for food, etc.) to keep pets that are destroying our belongings. Why would anyone pay to have their stuff ruined?”

I can’t solve either of those issues. There is no way to shut Fu up, and nowhere to put her that we can’t hear her.  At 4:40 this morning, in a sleepy haze, David put Fu out on the deck. (They are indoor cats, but our deck is so high up, they can’t go anywhere.) At 7:00, when I woke up, I went to let the cat in and she was gone. Thankfully, she reappeared on the DOWNSTAIRS deck. Did she jump? Fall? Who knows, but we are lucky she seemed okay, if a bit disoriented.

As for the scratching, I am at a loss. The cats have a giant scratching tower-castle-thingy and they rarely use it. I’ve gotten a variety of scratching posts and boxes, but they don’t like them, even when liberally sprinkled with catnip.

I feel guilty about all the problems, since I was the one who brought them into our lives. I hate feeling like I am making my family suffer. I want to find a solution that makes everyone happy… but I don’t know what that is.

In the meantime, I look at these two cuddly mufflepuffins and think how sad I would be to see them go.

Sleepy cat friends - Jinx and Fu

meeting Junie B. Jones

I got to share one of my past adventures the other day; now, here’s a blast from the past for Q.

Junie B Jones Stupid Smelly Bus

In 2004, the summer before she turned six, Quinland visited David’s mom and sister in Arizona all on her own. That was the inaugural year of the June B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour, and for an almost-kindergartner like Quinland, meeting Junie B. was an exciting prospect.

Junie B Jones performance stage

The actress who played Junie B. gave a live theatrical performance and opened her Big Pink Trunk of Junk, showing the kids all sorts of recognizable things from her books, like her stuffed elephant and the floaty ball from the toilet.

June B Jones Pink Trunk

Afterwards, Quinland got an awesome T-shirt and a chance to meet the actress who played  Junie B. Jones herself.

Junie B Jones T-shirt

There was a long line to meet the actress who played Junie B., but Quinland waited patiently. (Far more patiently than she waited for John and Sherry from Young House Love when they came to Portland!)

Junie B Jones

Afterwards, the actress who played Junie B. pointed Q to where Barbara Park, the author, was signing autographs.

June B Jones with Q Junie B Jones author Barbara Park 

Then Q and Grammelie Groo cuddled up to read her new book.

Junie B Jones Q reading with Gramma

I love these pics of Quinland out by the bus. In the first one, she looks so excited, and in the second, she looks like one tough cookie. (That one is currently my desktop wallpaper at work.)

Junie B Jones Q with cheesy grin Junie B Jones Q by bus

As a sad footnote to the story, this was the T-shirt Quinland was wearing when she fell off a bunk bed a couple of months later and broke her arm horribly. She had no pulse in her arm, so she required immediate surgery… and they had to cut the shirt off of her. We did save a piece as a reminder of her fun day, but she was sooo disappointed!

stand in your truth

In keeping with my whole reduce-reuse-recycle goals (bet you though I forgot all about that, didn’t you?), I’ve decided to go through my Drafts folder here on the blog and see what the heck I decided to ditch before I ever hit publish.

My very oldest draft was one called “Stand in Your Truth” from way back in April August of 2011. I hadn’t actually done anything but cut and paste a quote (which I had to Google to find out was from Suze Orman):

You can’t build a foundation on lies. You can’t build a future if you do not know who you are. You can’t become who you are meant to be if you can’t tell the truth about who you are, what you have, and everything about your life. The truth is the absolute essence to your success, while lies are the absolute essence to your failures.

I have been trying to live this quote out this week. I have been shining a bright light on (among other things):

  • how much my mindless eating habits have contributed to my weight gain;
  • how much my time-sucking phone habits have contributed to my messy house;
  • how much my fear and confusion have contributed to my stresses at work.

It definitely hasn’t been pretty, but I think I will make better headway from here on out.