Swamp Monster Sunday

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As a certified swamp monster, I have funky skin and features and…well….I’m just an odd duck. So, the fact I have – in my mid-thirties mind you – fallen in love with makeup (especially colorful eyeshadow) is just the weirdest damn thing ever and mildly embarrassing.

I work for the state of TN and as such, I’m supposed to look like a professional human. Swamp monsters with colorful sparkly glitter smeared all over their faces are not encouraged. So, I bought a few really bright, really fun palettes with all these dazzling awesome colors…and have absolutely no reason to smear them all over my face. It’s been bugging me. I’m too old for this; I don’t even know what I’m doing or how to apply makeup, but I am right this moment resisting the urge to buy a palette of nothing but yellow eye shadow. Do I EVER wear that color? No. Would it likely make me look jaundiced and even less attractive? Likely. But my brain has never been a fan of logic, so I just want it. Here’s a picture of it (That I stole from ColourPop’s website. Not sure if I’m allowed to do that, blogging rules are not well explained, but it’s free advertising and I own nothing of value….so let’s just cross our fingers and hope).

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As part of the swamp monster package, I am also the owner of a weird body. It’s overly large, pale, ungainly, and uncoordinated.  I have been telling myself I’d lose weight (and become hot in the process….which is COMPLETELY different from losing weight….but I digress) since around the first time I heard someone refer to someone else as fat. My earliest memories are disliking how much bigger I was than the other kids, I towered over them and outweighed them and had to wear a training bra at like…6. Since my weird body decided to malfunction regularly and I go to various specialists quite often, my endocrinologist is extremely interested in things like…my BMI, my proportions, my insulin levels, my exercise routine (I lied and said I had one of those), etc. I really do want to be healthy. So, I actually have to get an exercise routine (ick). And maintain it. And not eat my feelings. And other people’s feelings.

So. I tell you all of that to tell you that I woke up intending to do none of the things I have done today. I woke up and just wanted coffee. That’s it. But, once I got up and got moving, I wanted to puzzle. Mancandy and I are working on a puzzle because we’re old and that’s what old, boring, antisocial people do. We puzzle and we drink coffee (our version of drinking and knowing things).

Mancandy was not in a puzzling mood. I found that annoying, but it’s hard to motivate someone to puzzle.

“Please come sit with me and be as frustrated and annoyed with 87616814 pieces of cardboard that have various portions of leaves that are all the same color.”

Though he did not want to puzzle at that exact moment, he claimed he would want to puzzle soon. That statement made zero sense to me, but I shrugged and tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my beautiful precious time off. I thought of all my pretty, shiny, colorful eye shadows just sitting here while I slather myself in boring colors day in and day out. I decided to play.

The Blue Moon palette was the first thing I saw, so it’s what I decided to smear upon my face hole flaps.

Blue moon

I meant to take a picture to show you how unskilled I am at this. But, I didn’t. I’m going to insert a picture from Pinterest showing what this might look like were I talented. It’s not at all what it looked like, but whatever. It’s my story. Enjoy this much better representation of blue eyeshadow. This is not me (so obviously not me that it’s funny to write it, but please don’t sue me if this IS you, because I’m super jealous and also I don’t have anything worth suing to take).

BM Look

Instead, I went downstairs and announced extremely loudly, “I’m blue and bold, bitches, lets puzzle!”

I found this to be a funny statement. I usually crack myself up. Unfortunately, I had not looked to be sure Mancandy was awake. He was not. But he jolted awake at my declaration and restrained what looked like a fairly strong urge to throttle me. He also looked at my face, which was 1/3 bright blue, and just said: “oh my”. I felt like I should probably be offended by this, but chose not to be. Mostly because he says stuff that could be insulting all the time and I don’t have the time it would take to be offended.

We puzzled for a while. I got 5 pieces into the puzzle and felt remarkably accomplished. Set low goals and you’ll never be disappointed, my friends. We decided we should move the elliptical machine my boss gave us (yay boss!) into the air-conditioned part of the house. As obviously that was the only thing holding me back. So we did. And then he announced he was going to mow.

I hate that moment. I feel like I should do something equally horrible, but I don’t want to do any horrible things. So I declared I would work out. While he mowed. And then I realized I’d said it out loud, the elliptical was inside, and I actually had to do it now. Dread set in.

So I worked out. Put on a sports bra and athletic shoes and everything. I don’t understand these people that say, oh yes, the endorphins, it is a rush, working out is fun, blah blah. I apparently don’t possess endorphins. I spent every single minute of the time I spent on the elliptical screaming internally that I was not allowed to stop yet.

Fun fact, the elliptical is third hand and I am grateful to have it, but it squeaks like you’re skinning something alive. So the longer I worked out, the louder and more aggressive the skinning of the thing became. The cats were horrified. They may be scarred for life. The dog equated skinning alive with thunderstorms and fireworks and started panting and stress whining as if to duet the shrieking machine. So the entire time I’m on the damn thing the dog is singing along to this really annoying shriek squeak, and the cats are running around trying to escape the demonic noise but unable to find a place to do so.

Within 4 seconds I was drenched in sweat. Not just a little glisten, no ma’am and/or sir! I take sweating seriously. So my shirt is stuck to me and my sparkly blue face now has rivulets of blue running down it and on down my neck. It looked like I was painting some sort of river scene across my face, but in my typical “enthusiasm makes up for lack of talent” way. I stopped when I was pretty sure I’d just have to fall sideways off of the machine because I had jelly for legs and was gasping so hard I thought I might pass out. Probably 4 minutes in. No, it was more than that, but not as long as it should have been.

I sat down on the tile floor (likely leaving an impressive butt outline in sweat) to cool my rumpus and contemplated puking. When that didn’t sound like fun anymore I got up and started up the stairs. That was a mistake as I likely can’t go back down now. I’ll just live up here. Please fling food up occasionally. This will be my new diet plan.

I shambled my sweaty, miserable, gasping, slightly nauseous self into the bathroom. Stripped down. Turned on the shower. Turned around to set my hair tie down by the sink and accidentally looked into the mirror.

I looked like I’d eaten a smurf alive…aggressively….in a very messy fashion. My hair was plastered to my sweaty skull and there was blue smeared all over my face. I don’t even know how it was possible to be that gross, but I managed.

A shower has never been so lovely. And now I have to look forward to doing that same thing over and over and over until I’m less horrible at it. Dying young is kind of looking mildly appealing. But that doctor will get to hear all about the “exercise routine” I’m working on.

Just need some W-D 40. Or the cats may not survive it any better than I do.

 

Cats Ruin Everything.

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I have a dream. A backyard patio with grass, flowers, spring in the air, birds chirping, the animals lounging around, coffee….you know….that stereotypical relaxing backyard scene. Our neighbors on one side have a lovely, if plain. On the other side, there is a much more exotic, busy yard with flowers, statues, windmills, chimes, and planters for more of the same crammed into a small space. It’s eclectic and not something I would want to deal with, but it’s amazing in full bloom.

We had a dirt and rock pit type landscape going with a lot of weeds. Mancandy doesn’t care about it. At all. As long as the grass (what little there is) doesn’t get too high (only because the HOA will send nasty letters that piss him off) he couldn’t care less.

Last year I was excited that our neighbors had an old patio set they gave us. Wanda, the coolest neighbor ever, came over in the blazing summer heat to help me sand it down and spray paint. We were so sweaty we couldn’t stand ourselves and I thought really hard about having a heat stroke, but the result was a somewhat decent looking set (if you don’t get too close to it). I harassed Robert into getting more strapping since a lot of the original had rotted and snapped. That strapping is still in a roll someplace in this house. Until the strapping is on cushions are pointless and sitting in the chairs is a test of faith in gravity’s lack of hold on thine rumpage. It is also insulting when you stand up and see how far the few straps that remain stretched out to cradle said rumpage. I have plans, but it’s a very slow and frustrating process when the Mancandy drags his feet getting on board.

Not to be deterred, I was determined to enjoy time outside after work yesterday. It’s still light when I get home now that the time has changed and it was gorgeous weather. We’ve been in the seventies, sunny, no humidity, etc., the past couple days. I’m aware the hellish heat is coming so I stay outside or by open windows as much as possible. We took the pup for a walk and the two “normal” cats came with us. We had our tiny puma patrol. They were quite pleased with themselves.

As we came back to the house I suggested evening coffee and outside time. Bell can’t do much in the way of running now that her back legs are in such back shape, but she loves laying outside and telling off anyone she notices. Or thinks she notices. The cats enjoy vacating their bladder and bowels in the one area of dirt we optimistically spread grass seed on every so often. You know, relaxing stereotypical stuff. We spent our time arguing about global warming, arguing over which cat is the best hunter (we both though Neo but he assumed Tsuki didn’t hunt because she didn’t bring back kills while Neo assumes we’re too stupid to hunt for ourselves and brings back little dead bodies all the time), and agreeing that we hate most people.

We really were relaxing and beginning to think about dinner. The weather was gorgeous, the dog was happy, one of the cats was entertaining us; pouncing and playing as if he was finding moles, arching his back and crab walking,  it was pretty awesome. I was sure I was making headway with ideas to improve our “outdoor living space”. He was pretending to listen to me, happily jabbering about planters and a raised bed for veggies when Tsuki started belly crawling through the yard away from us, quickly picking up speed. I had time to say “oh crap” while Robert sucked in his breath to curse. A couple of mockingbirds had been scolding the cats the entire time we’d been outside. After a couple unsuccessful attempts to smack them the cats settled back to ignore them. I was scared she was going after them again, but instead, Tsuki launched herself into one of the huge bushes (it’s a bush but it’s probably….9 feet tall and 6 feet across….superman vegetation). Neo, the other cat, started hauling butt that way. Tsuki let out a hunters scream at the same time birds explode everywhere, also screaming. It sounded like we’re skinning animals alive, the sheer volume of sound was incredible.

We could hear something screaming at a higher pitch as if in excruciating pain and the dog starts trying to run that way as Robert and I also take off across the yard. The two adult birds are shrieking in defiance and raining down bird rage as they swoop and smash themselves into a blur I took to be Tsuki. Fuzzy running things that I eventually realized were fledglings, unable to fly yet, haul ass across the yard, Neo in pursuit. I yell at the dog to stay out of it, scream at Neo to knock it off as Robert gets to the bush Tsuki has disappeared into and starts kicking and yelling. More birds explode out and there’s so much noise and motion I can’t tell what’s what. Neo is startled by my manic scream and pursuit that he pauses to stare at me and the fledglings have a chance to get into taller grass past the walking trail. Mom and Dad bird are about to have heart attacks between the cat assaulting their feathered children and the humans yelling and scrambling and the other cat running after more children. Tsuki has crawled all the way to the center of the bush and we can’t get to her nor can we tell if she’s got a baby bird. I couldn’t hear any noise from her direction so I figured if she had one, it was either dead or close to it. I turned my attention to saving the rest of them. Neo was having a full excitement induced weirdo attack. He was puffed up, darting at anything that moved, running back over to stare and hiss in Tsuki’s general direction, and basically look insane.  I’d gotten Bell inside and we tried to corner Neo. He was not having it.

At this point, the neighbors have heard blood-curdling screams of pain and fear, our screams of anger, excited barking from a big dog, cats yowling, and now us yelling KITTY KITTY KITTY as if that will coax anything to come to us. The only chance those babies had was for us to get the stupid cats inside. Eventually, Robert resorted to a controlled pounce and snagged Neo. I had door duty and made sure the dog stayed in while the cat was tossed in. The treat jar was grabbed and more “KITTY KITTY COME HERE YOU ASSHOLE CAT WE WERE RELAXING!” ensued. Tsuki, amazingly, became interested enough in the idea of treats to stick her head out and was also pounced upon.

We found ourselves with wide eyes, clutching our coffee, standing in the kitchen panting, while the cats stalked each other, hissing and poofing with excess adrenaline.

Stereotypical relaxing outdoor space activity.

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Latest Weebs Adventures, Turdlette Slings, and Stuff…

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Weebs loves to watch. He’s a super creepy little man and he will stalk me all over the house while I’m doing chores. It usually makes things like laundry or loading the dishwasher more fun because he stares in wonder at everything. So as I was switching laundry he comes creeping up behind me and flattens himself to blend in with the carpet that he does not match at all. I try to get pictures because it’s ridiculously cute but if he sees my phone change to camera he immediately does something less cute.  He will lay as flat as possible, even his ears go sideways and flatten out, but he’s got a gut on him and it flows out on either side and ruins the predator vibe he’s going for. I love it.

I like to get my chores going as soon as I wake up on Saturday morning for two reasons. 1. If I don’t I will wait until bedtime Sunday night and be extremely angry and tired on Monday. 2. If I look super busy right away I can choose the easier chores and Mancandy will usually feel bad and is left with the chores I avoid like the plague and wanted him to do anyway. And I don’t have to say a word. This doesn’t always work, but when it does I feel extremely sneaky and clever.

I started out with towels because if I got busy with something else and forgot them it wouldn’t be a big wrinkled mess. I don’t understand ironing, it doesn’t work for me…I’m pretty sure it’s voodoo. So if it shouldn’t be wrinkled I have to catch it right away when the dryer finishes. Which takes more attention to detail than I possess without a lot of coffee. So I was pulling towels out of the dryer and throwing underwear in (same reasoning). My little fat predator was watching every move. If socks dropped he swatted at them (from a good 2 feet away), what he lacks in depth perception he makes up for with determination.  He made little happy chortle sounds (to himself, as all great predators do) and waited with huge eyes to see what would happen. His world was made even more exciting when I stepped beside him (he immediately grabbed my sock, got a nail stuck on it, scratched me for holding onto his foot, and fought like a small tiger while I unsnagged his nail) to begin the lovely process of cleaning the litter boxes.  He LOVES playing defense while I try to remove what he deposits.

As I go I can usually avoid his swats at the scoop quite easily. He’s not exactly athletic. However, every now and then he uses a surprising amount of dexterity and his aim is true and he wins the round. Today he wasn’t even swatting at the scoop that often, he’d become sidetracked by the bag eating the scoops contents and was talking to it. All cats should talk to inanimate objects like this cat does. It’s the best.

I let my guard down. As I was moving several large, fresh movements o’cat bowels he struck. A little brown foot whipped out from underneath the scoop and smacked up and over. He has never been that quick nor that coordinated. I was neither of those things when cat crap attacked my face. MY FACE. I had to go wash (and there is NO amount of washing that suffices) little skid marks off of my face. And then go back and corral the freed turds from the great outdoors and get them back in the bag. And not squish the cat who was back in predator mode trying to make contact to smack his freed friends around the laundry room.

He will not be helping me with chores anymore.

My life is a dumpster fire. Swamp monster level 100 today folks. Happy Saturday!

Test of Wills.

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The cats rule us in this house. It was never my intention to have a gaggle of cats. I had a geriatric diabetic cat who ruled the roost for years, so I was very much wanting to have some time without constantly medicating/bathing/cleaning up after a crabby cat. I was traveling a lot when I had her and that cat HATED to travel. Each trip, no matter the duration, ended up with projectile diarrhea, urinating, and screaming the entire trip while she sloshed around in her own mess to get as disgusting as possible. One time we hadn’t even moved yet, just sitting in the driveway. I tried letting her out in the truck thinking confinement was the issue. I now have a truck that has a distinct smell I can never get out as it simply allowed her to squish her miasma of grossness everywhere she could get to. I couldn’t afford to kennel her so she’d get her medication, I couldn’t leave her without the insulin, so she had to come along. My truck and my nose will never be the same. So when I say I wanted a break, I was beyond ready for a break from needy cats.

Then Weebles happened. Months of no sleep, bottle feedings, various medications, visits to vets across the state, moves across the country, and the never-ending sound of his songs to his people or his incessant need to scratch the litter box. Now I listen to his antics all night or wear ear plugs, clean up after said antics in the morning, try to toddler proof my house for a cat and fight tooth and nail to medicate twice a day.

He loved pill pockets. It was a perfect harmony, a treat with a hidden gem of meds that I didn’t have to fight to get in him. Unfortunately, since he’s now part of the household and still fascinated by the “big cats”, he has no time for medication. Or people. He wants absolutely nothing to do with us and is much too busy for medication! I switched from salmon to chicken flavor and that seemed to take care of it. And then that nose shot up in the air and he began refusing yet again.

I thought maybe I’d handled the pill too much before putting it into the pill pocket. The first couple refusals I didn’t think much of it, scruffed him, popped it down the gullet, and went on my way muttering. It’s been over a week. He does not want anything to do with his much-beloved pill pockets and he’s slowly learning that when I walk toward him he should run away. Thankfully he can’t figure out which way to run very quickly, but it’s only a matter of time.

They need to come up with a patch I can stick on him that slowly doses meds that way. Or a long lasting med I can give less frequently. It won’t happen, there aren’t enough cats with his condition for the expense and time of clinical trials and all that jazz, but now I’ll be pestering his vet for a compounding liquid option or something similar but not exactly the same as pill pockets to see if I can entice him. His face, when he decides he doesn’t want to take his meds, is possibly the best combo of “NO!” and “WHAT IS HAPPENING!?”  He’s also got this nifty move of ducking his head down and back between his shoulder blades so finding his scruff when he’s running away is pretty difficult. Like an odd little beaver, he flattens himself out and scrooches those eyes to slits and talks uuuuuuugly. In the good column, he can’t think fast enough to actually swipe at me so I just have to keep his mouth from closing whilst my fingers are inside of it.

My diabetic kid was food motivated, so shots of insulin were no big deal. Just give her treats and she didn’t even notice. Weebs doesn’t care about food at all. He’s still in wonder of his new siblings and wants to follow them or go look for them. That’s it. He was so worn out from following them around last night that I found him sleeping in a weird position in the middle of the upstairs landing and didn’t even stir when my dog licked his face (her breath is enough to raise zombies). She narrowly missed stepping on him when she turned around and her tail smacked into him. He didn’t even move. I had to check to make sure he was breathing; it gave me a mild panic for a second. He was just snoozing.

I’m irritated with the entire situation, but that’s what you get with special needs kits. So much frustration. His obsession with his litter box is a discussion for another day, but it’s going to happen.

However, one thing I do NOT find irritating is the amount of fancy footwork we’ve gotten video of. And bizarre play spazzing oddness. Watching him try to be a normal cat is one of my favorite activities. If you haven’t seen it, the Instagram link for this blog is on the left side bar. Videos and pics are uploaded there. Feel free to check them out (ignore the fact my house is not super clean and fancy, I’d make an excuse but I just don’t care enough to put that much effort into it).

An Ode to My Front Door

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I was at the front door when I realized we had library books that needed to go back today. A lot of them. I’d taken out my usual tower, and Mancandy had borrowed several for the mini candy’s recent visit. Children’s books are oddly shaped and one was massively wide. I refuse to do the multiple trips to the car thing. Instead I threw my purse on my arm, got my keys ready in one hand, grabbed all 30 books (not that many but it felt like that many and like they were multiplying) in an awkward hug with giant kid book kicked into my ribs (they should be padded enough not to notice that but alas).

Our front door does not have the normal knob turny thing. It only closes securely when you flip the deadbolt. So if you are trying to say, lock the house with an armload of books, you have to try to pull on the key hard enough to keep the door flush with the frame yet not hard enough for the key to come out. You must also maintain constant pressure while convincing the key to turn.

I live in the south. It’s beyond hot and muggy right now, and our front porch is in the full sun with the heat reflecting off of all nearby surfaces. As soon as I stepped out with my huge load and turn back the dog is trying to come with me. A stern “NofortheloveofgodIdonothavetimetodealwithyourightnowit’ssounbelieveablyhotrightnowjesusdrippingchristIammelting!!!!!” made her tilt her head and start singing the song of her people. I was already sweating. Ergo, I was already angry. I ignored the screech-yowls, pulled the door and then had to throw my knee up to stop the dog from a new rush toward freedom when the rug that Mancandy has at the front door wadded up and blocked the door.  It does this every time I’m carrying something. And every time I swear I’m setting it on fire when I get back, but by then I’ve forgotten. After readjusting the stack of books so they’d stab a new place and stop slipping in my sweaty grip, I shoved the dog back and re-entered the house. Strange dance moves got the rug flattened back down. The dog had moved back, laid down, and instead of screeching was now making a very quiet yet astonishingly annoying high pitch whine. One foot on the rug, I balanced solely on that foot to take a step like a normal flipping human, and the rug started shooting out from under me at an unnatural velocity. I spent what felt like 10 minutes fighting to stay upright. Books went everywhere. The dog was dancing around me barking. The normal cat screeched as it ran away expressing its displeasure loudly. The not at all normal cat puffed up and started spinning in circles. I said all the bad words I knew and then made up some new ones.

 

Derp cat

This was derp cats expression.

 

I gathered books up again, made sure the rug was flat and spun around the door as I pulled it behind me so the dog and I didn’t have to fight again. Unfortunately, with the momentum I had going and the fact the outside of the door was approximately 89 billion degrees when my hand came into contact with it means I slammed into the storm door which slammed into the entryway and the books went flying again and the dog came bouncing out anyway. I would not have handled this gracefully on a cool day. I had negative patience for this type of shenanigan foolishness while sweating bullets.

I was so angry I don’t really know what I screamed at the dog. Something about sucking her soul out through her eyes before drinking it down if she did not get back into the house immediately. And there was a LOT more inappropriate language in that but I’ll spare your delicate eyeballs.

I was watching my fuzzy potato in cat form spin closer to me and make trilling noises. The dog bounded over as best able with her old self and scrambled inside to avoid my wrath. The spinning derp hadn’t gotten to me yet so I pulled the door closed. The rug tried to stop me but I screamed in primal rage and shoved it back into the spinning derp and the derp thinking this was a hilaaaaarious game and I might let her out again. There was the sound of scrambling but I don’t know what happened because the door was finally shut. And yet the first 20 times I tried to lock the bolt, the key would start to come out of the lock before it turned. I had sweat running down my back, down my face, and into my eyes. My side is permanently indented from the billion books that, at this point, weighed 3 metric tons shoved into my ribcage. Eventually, I got the stupid lock turned in the stupid door and got the stupid books into the stupid truck. I was drenched in sweat and hadn’t even gotten out to the public part of being out in public.

My first stop was the liquor store. It hadn’t originally been my mission, Mancandy had requested something, but it became my goal as I knew the house had no rum and after that adventure it NEEDED rum. I stomped into the store and asked the man to direct me to the rum. Keep in mind, the liquor store is at most a 5-minute drive. I was still sweaty and obviously furious. He saw the raging Italian and stammered directions before disappearing. I gathered up my booze and stomped to the register. A man popped up from behind it and asked if I’d be interested in champagne on sale. I glared at him until he took my money and went away.

I stomped outside clutching my bottles and saw someone parked beside my truck. We were the only vehicles in the lot. The problem with that is the fact there were people in the vehicle, windows down, and if he’d stuck his face even with his window he could have kissed my truck. I moved their way slowly, giving them time to realize they were in my trucks touch bubble.

A man got out of the car and made much too much eye contact from so far away. He was going to ask me for money or one of my bottles or something. I usually try to be quick and pleasant while telling those sorts of folks no. Today I had no fear. No stress. No social anxiety. I was full of sweat and rage. I started stomping. He began walking to me and the spiel started. I didn’t let him get past “Hey lady, can you…” before I drowned him out with my “It has been a pretty crap start to this day so I’m going to need you to not ask me for anything and move that car because I’m about to get in that truck and if I have to open the door into your car and climb in through your window I will do so. Do not test me today!”

His mouth hung open and as I got close enough for him to see the sweat fueled insanity in my eyes he backpedaled. He vaulted into his car, slammed it into reverse, and left the lot with hustle. It made me no less sweaty, but it did bring me much satisfaction.

It’s Opposite World

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My dog and I have never really been around children. We find them to be loud and sticky and they do not respect touch bubbles. Any time a child puts a sticky hand anywhere near me I immediately respond as most folks do when a wasp tries to sting them: jelly legs and gasping half screams. Plus when they learn to talk they start being difficult vocally as well as physically. I just don’t see the appeal. My dog has an even worse reaction to kids than I do, she is obviously terrified but her way of showing it is to growl and try to eat them. Parents tend to get uppity when your dog wants to eat their little bambino.

This is my fault, of course. I never socialized Bell with children (I didn’t socialize with anyone who had any). So moving in with a man who has a small army of clones that are often here for extended periods of time terrified me. He, however, couldn’t have been less concerned. He loves him some Bell, she’s in love with him, and love will conquer all. Except for kids. I told him I didn’t like kids. He laughed as if I was joking. I wasn’t. Yet here we are. And there are so so so many children.

The eldest of the Mancandy offspring is now 14. He’s caught in that awkward not really a kid but not yet an adult age and is the calmest of the little ones. Bella likes him. He pets her, talk’s sweet to her, and doesn’t jet around everywhere like a hummingbird on crack.

The twins are now 12, and they are still in the child stage of a druggie bird. Everything they do is in fast forward. They run into and out of rooms, instead of walking around they jump over, they throw things instead of handing them, and the noise is always at an insane decibel. There’s confusion about how sound travels because they can be 4 inches apart and they will scream everything they say to each other rather than talk in a normal tone.

Bella hated them. She wanted to like them, but as soon as they went from sleeping children to awake children she wanted no part of it. She would wait until my attention was elsewhere and she’d show them teeth if they came too close. She began guarding furniture. Then she guarded entire rooms. They finally came clean about her behavior and she was banished from the room if she acted like a donkey. She was never left with them unsupervised. She figured out that if she wanted to be where everyone else was (and like most dogs she very much wants to be in the middle of it) she had to mind her manners. I do not trust her with them alone, but she’s gotten much easier with them.

This past visit from Mancandy’s family was a big one. One of the mini-candies lives across the country so her visits are few and far between. She flew in, we scooped up her brothers, and Mancandy Parental Units came down. There were Candies of various ages everywhere. The youngest slept in our room on an air mattress. The boys kept their usual room. The parental unit inhabited the guest room. The house that seems pretty big most of the time became much too small. There were people everywhere. And children have a need to move things to places that make no sense. The house looked like a gaggle of raccoons had spent a couple hours gleefully tearing the house apart and had eaten everything in the house while deconstructing it. I took to locking myself in the water closet of the master bathroom with the outer door locked as well so I could pretend I didn’t hear anyone knocking. Two doors are sound proof you know. Often Bell came in to hang out with me.

I had no idea how my dog would handle this, and I was even more concerned about Weebles. His reactions are rarely predictable, and he doesn’t really know how to run away or defend himself. A gaggle of loud children plus my anti-kid dog and my confused potato cat seemed like a recipe for disaster. I was, fortunately, mistaken.

Bella figured out quickly the kids dropped food constantly. Especially the 9-year-old. Bell’s love of food (she’s definitely my dog) overrode her fear of the kids. She didn’t necessarily want to cuddle with them, but she was MUCH more at ease.  I could relax and not be on high alert for a launch to maul a child’s face.

Weebs, however, was the star of the show. He is the perfect cat for children. He’s fascinated by movement, so he would play with feet, toys, fingers, etc., for hours. He will grab but doesn’t scratch or bite. He’s too confused to object to being hauled around (the 9-year-old loved to carry him around). He doesn’t care if there are loud noises or fast movements. He’s not overwhelmed by 4 children crowded around him. He was absolute perfection. He got so much attention he’s been sleeping hardcore for 3 days straight and I don’t blame him a bit. Between trying to keep up with the other cats, be nosy and follow adults around, and trying to catch quick little fingers, toes, and dangled toys Weebs has never worked this hard in his life. His days were packed to the brim! He even got in on game night.

He’s the perfect cat for a huge family, which is exceedingly bizarre to me as I never wanted any children and somehow found myself in this big collection of people that make up a modern family (including the ex’s and their current relationships and all the insanity that brings) without any preparation. The dog and I (generally considered of normal intelligence if not considered normal in personality) may stumble, but my sweet little spud kitty sails through with ease. He’s a champ. The rest of us just live in his world.

 

Turkey toes

Plus he does stuff like this. We call this particular position turkey toes. He will sit sniffing his toes for a while, and then spend a little longer sitting in the same position while blinking slowly.