Blog Archives

The tale of my avatar

My sister’s cat (who henceforth shall be known as Cat) hates me. Actually, hate probably isn’t a strong enough word. Loathe, perhaps. Or detest. Regardless of the verb one uses, it doesn’t change the fact that Cat thinks the world would be a better place if I weren’t in it. I would even safely bet that she would give up treats for the rest of her feline life if she never had to see me again.

The Cat that I speak of is the real life version of my avatar. And the reason she’s making such a horrifying face? I was trying to pet her when I took that picture. Turns out, that pose works perfectly when you want to use MS Paint to draw fire coming from a cat’s open mouth. She was only six months old when the avatar picture was taken. Now she’s over two years and is becoming crueler with age.

Here’s a recent picture of Cat.

 

I’ve never had an issue with cats before this one. In fact, I consider myself to be a “cat person.” In elementary school, I was always on the “Cats Rule, Dogs Drool” side of the argument. By the way, dogs do drool. My friend’s dog foams at the mouth every time he eats. Gross. You’ll never see a cat doing that. Well, you might, but you should probably run very far away.

Cat hates loathes me because we had a little misunderstanding about a year ago. You know how sometimes you’re teasing a friend and you think that they think it’s funny, then find out afterward that they were completely offended? It was kind of like that. Cat and I were playing a game called Make the Kitty Angry. Basically, it goes like this: You poke the cat on the back until they try to bite you. While they’re biting to the left, you poke from the right. Repeat. I used to play this game with my family’s cat when I was growing up. He would get pissed off, hiss a few times, then about an hour later he’d jump onto the couch, chirping the whole time, and sit on my lap. No hard feelings. He could take a joke.

No, really, guys. I swear he forgave me. Mom, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky.

Cat, however, does not take jokes. Only pieces of flesh.

Ever since that fateful night of teasing Cat, she’s held a grudge against me. At first, Sister and I thought it was a coincidence. Cats can’t hold grudges. After a few months, though, we had to finally admit that she hates me. Here’s a typical visit to Sister’s house:

Cat is sprawled on the table, purring. Sister pets Cat.

Cat: Meeeeeeeeeow. Rubs against Sister’s hand.

Sister’s fiance picks up Cat. Cat fluffs up her tail with glee, chirping. 

Cat: Puuurrrrrrrrreow.

Husband talks to Cat. 

Cat: Blank stare. No anger, though.

I approach Cat slowly. Hold out my hand to let her sniff. There is no danger. I only want to pet her.

Cat: HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

So I leave Cat alone for an hour. Later, I walk past her on my way to the kitchen.

Cat: HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I’ve been trying to make amends with Cat gradually. I offered her a treat one day. Cat walked away; Sister’s dog was happy to oblige. I rubbed Cat under her chin. She bit my hand. Sometimes I see her in her Fortress of Doom cardboard box, glaring at me from afar, surely plotting the next way to sink her fangs into my flesh.

Husband asked me today during lunch if I practice sorcery, as part of his habit of asking random questions with no meaning.

“No,” I replied, “because if I did, Sister’s Cat wouldn’t hate me.”

“You know the Egyptians worshiped cats,” he added.

“Exactly,” I said. “Because cats are cooler than dogs.”

“No, it’s because dogs weren’t invented yet,” he quipped.

He was serious.

WHAT.

 

Advertisements

Three hours of stray cat stories and a tragic trip down a slide

This post is two months overdue and the main reason I haven’t written it is because I truly don’t know how to put it into words. Hopefully, the title grabbed your attention because if you read this entire story, I promise not to disappoint. The best way to start is for you to read this story about Mom’s birthday at Golden Corral, which was almost exactly a year ago. There’s a lot of back story on her that you need to know to fully understand her personality.

Today’s story is the adventure of Mother’s Day 2012 and it’s 100% true. Gather closely, dear readers. Top off your coffee and make sure you have a comfortable chair. Ok – here we go.

Sister graciously offered to have Mom and Grandma over for this year’s annual festivities. If Mom had her way, this would include the following activities:

  • The showering of a multitude of gifts from her registry (each gift must be at least a $50 value)
  • A skit put on by Sister and myself reenacting all of the times she was the World’s Best Mother (must include the word “sacrifice” a minimum of 25 times)
  • A feast of filet mignon, crab legs, oysters, and caviar
  • Unlimited and uninterrupted story time regarding her current crises (may include the words “agony” and “hopeless” in every sentence)
  • A minimum of five sappy cards from each daughter. Funny cards will be returned to sender and will result in an additional $50 gift.

What you need to understand is first of all, this isn’t much of an exaggeration. And secondly, I’m not being a horrible daughter. It would take me more words than you care to read in order to explain why my mother does not deserve a single one of those festivities. Just take my word for it. I love my mom. I really do. But, she’s never been supportive of anyone except herself, and she does a poor job of that.

So anyway, Husband and I made the drive to Sister’s house in May for the Extravaganza. Upon our entrance, we heard hysterical laughter from the door to the back patio. Mom stumbled in the patio door.

“I pissed myself!” she announced between cackles and pants. “I went down the slide in the backyard, and I peed when I landed!”

I kid you not. There was no “Hi, daughter! How are you? Good to see you.” This was her legitimate introduction after not seeing me since February.

Sister pointed to Mom’s white short-shorts. “Mom, your shorts are covered in mud.”

Sister’s Fiance, D, walked in. “Yeah, that’s because your mom went down the slide and when she landed, she flipped forward and faceplanted right in the ground.”

Mom announced that she needed to go to the bathroom and wash her underwear.

D started snickering once Mom was out of earshot. “You guys missed it. She went down that slide so fast and when she hit the ground, she landed on her knees and fell forward. Then she was all, ‘I peed myself!'”

All this time, my poor grandma was sitting in a chair, waiting for this ridiculous scene to end so she could say hello. Grandma is the bee’s knees, to put it mildly. She’s a Rosie the Riveter, a survivor of domestic violence in the 1940s, a mother of four, and the strongest person I know. Grandma holds this dysfunctional family together with her love and generosity. That undying generosity is the only reason Mom is able to feed herself lately. Mom’s been unemployed due to unwillingness to work  unfortunate circumstances since I was in high school.

At this point, Grandma and I showered each other with kisses and greetings. I gave her one of the two bouquets of flowers that I brought and waited for Mom to return so I could give the other one to her.

After a few minutes, Mom walked in, holding her newly clean underwear like a banner. D appeared astonished that anyone would be proud to be holding their underwear at a family gathering. My only thought was, She’s wearing white short-shorts and she’s going commando.

We ate a delicious lunch thanks to Sister’s prowess in the kitchen, as usual, and decided to sit at the patio table to talk. Before she sat down, Mom hung her underwear about 10 feet from the table to dry. We were forced to have it in our view for the rest of the afternoon. Mom dominated the conversation before anyone else could begin. Apparently, she’s taken in a stray mother cat and its newborn kitten. She’s taken them to the vet, purchased food and a litter box for them, and keeps them locked in her bathroom because she says she’s not keeping them. Except she’s had them in there for months. But she’s not keeping them.

“How are you paying for all this? Aren’t you unemployed?” Sister asked. It’s well known that Mom can barely afford food. After all, she makes it well known to us at every visit.

“My neighbor across the street said he’d make sure I had money to keep them fed. I’ll find the money somewhere.” Sister and I shared glances and took another sip of wine. I don’t really drink, except at family gatherings. Mom thinks we’re alcoholics because of it.

For the next three hours, we listened to stories about Precious, the mother cat, and Wiggles, the baby kitten. There were exciting tales, such as the time that Wiggles meowed. And the time that Precious ate food.

English: Stray female cat.

OMG!! This one time, the cat was lying on the porch. And it was all, lying in the sun because cats love to do that. Isn’t that hilarious?? *snort* (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the time we heard the 57th story about the time Precious walked around the bathroom, I had opened a second bottle of wine for Sister and me. Grandma had tried to tell a story here and there. In her 89 years, she has experienced some good ones to share. However, trying to speak at this occasion was rude, unless you were Mom, or unless you were commenting about the feral cats.

Around 8:00, the Extravaganza had been going strong for eight hours. Sister and I had to work the next morning and she had laundry to do. We’d been trying to drop hints that it was time to call it a night for the past hour, but Precious and Wiggles would not have it.

Finally, Sister decided it was time for action.

“Mom, you have to go. It’s late. We have to get up at 5:30 and you don’t because you have nowhere to be tomorrow.”

We kissed them goodbye and Grandma said how much she had enjoyed her visit, how wonderful the food was, and how beautiful Sister’s new house is. Mom commented that it must be nice not to live in a trailer park and to be so rich. (Sister barely qualifies as middle class, though she works her butt off in a professional field.)

Alas, it’s about that time again. Mom’s birthday is at the end of July and it will once again be time to dust off the tiara for her.

And the wine for me.