joannebest











{January 15, 2015}   I Should Be Writing

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I’ve been hemming and hawing like a, uh, (an?) heming-haw-er.
It is a thing you know.
It stares at me from everywhere, “You Should Be Writing”.
My screensaver, my Twitter and Facebook thingy, fingers pointing at me in accusation and reminder. Little post-it notes in random places. My head constantly whispers the words, a litany, ‘write little girl, write’, as words of genius, life changing words that can save the entire world with their power fill my head, tumble ass over head in this brain o’mine as I crack my fingers, stretch my mental muscles and prepare to dive right in, a writing force to be reckoned with. A vicious word-tiger ready to pounce.
And then there is William.
He’s the one who pounces and I have the scratches to prove it.
How in the world did I wind up with a 4 month old Siamese kitten obsessed with my computer? Specifically the keyboard. Even more specifically, when it’s open to a blank WordPress page.
But it doesn’t stay blank for long.
It get filled up in a flash with whatever William wants.
Yep, it’s not me. It’s FangFace. He likes to touch random keys with his delicate yet sharp kitten paws.
He likes to stretch across my keyboard, roll over, then stare me in the eye with his person-in-a-cat-face-human-like eyes daring me to move him.
Talk about a battle of the blues, we stare at each other seeing who can hold out longer in a good old fashioned staring contest. ‘Don’t blink’ my mind demands, ‘you are the Alpha, he’s a tiny ball of fur, don’t blink!’
And then William, without breaking eye contact, opens up his fang-filled mouth and says “Meep” and bam! Just like that he wins because I can’t stop myself from laughing.
I am a bad kitten-mother.
He has me wrapped around his fingers/paw-claws making it more than a little difficult to write.
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So I finally break my kitten hostage ties, wherein I’m the hostage of course, only to be hit over the head with the Head Cold From Hell, now with new and improved versions of the flu (immunity not included, previous flu-shot does not prevent this strain and am I gonna turn into a weird hybrid of a vampire-cat?) and what suffers the most? Say it with me: my writing.
Just like that it tumbles to the bottom of the list as I muster up any energy I can so I’m able to:
1.) Pretend I’m fine
2.) Take my Dad to his skin cancer doctor (while cancelling my own doctor appointment)
3.) Make believe I’m not going to hurl as I see the amount of blood pouring down my Father’s face as I crack jokes to keep my Dad distracted (usually making myself the brunt of said jokes because, umm, just because it’s how we roll)
4.) Try and sleep any chance I can get inbetween juggling balls in the air unassisted
5.) Praying that one morning, just one morning, I can wake up to a clean kitchen, you know, the way it was when I went to sleep the previous night. I know. Not. Gonna. Happen.
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Yes, of course I can go on and on but I’m already pushing my luck.
Little Willy FangFace is watching the screen as I type, he knows I’m driving him to the Veterinarian today so he’s plotting his future revenge. He’s a Virgo so I know he has the patience of a cat (and that was totally unintentional), I already know what he has in mind, he’s going to cry his tiny little heart out when I’m driving and he’s stuck in a cat carrier just to make me feel guilty. Here’s a hint Wills, I always feel guilty, you’ll just be making me feel guiltier than usual.
And while FangFace is getting his checkup I get to drive around the block, put on my nurse hat, and change my Dad’s bandages, wash his clothes, and pretend I’m not cleaning his house while covertly cleaning his house. He doesn’t need any help ya know! He’s fine on his own! And those 17 times a day phone calls from him are just part of his day. Because after all, I don’t have a “job”, writing is just some thing I do to pass the time/sarcasm font really needed right about now.
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So to sum up:
I should be writing.
More.
As much as possible.
I need to reconsider my future plans and instead, move to an igloo somewhere in the depths of Alaska. (Does Alaska have depths?) Whatever, as long as it’s an isolated place without distraction.
Oh Cape May, I hear you calling my name.
writingggg

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{June 3, 2014}   Rest In Peace Mr Big

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“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats.”
~
Without warning, one of our cats died yesterday.
It was a normal day, me trying to break my writers block in-between the usual housewifey chores, windows open with a slight breeze gifting me with an occasional kiss as I ran through my well-caffeinated day from room to room multitasking, hoping desperately to break my brick wall.
The three cats were all sprawled in various places throughout the house, catnapping their way through the heat in their usual stretched out positions, safe and secure in their home because lets face it, our pets own us, we don’t own them. They just like to watch us pretend we’re in charge, it amuses them, but we all know they own our hearts and rule the roost.
It was nearing 7pm and nobody was home from work yet, I was taking advantage of the empty house to stare at the empty page in front of me and Mr Big was sprawled out at my feet, nothing unusual about that. Mr Big liked being around people unlike our other two female felines.
He’d follow you, chirping and purring and loving on you, so grateful for his forever home.
Mr Big, a lynx point Siamese was left outside when his owners moved. Abandoned. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have pets.
After he was rescued he fostered in 3 or 4 houses, they were always multi-cat households and the excuse was usually the other cats didn’t get along with him.
My sister-in-law works at an animal hospital, she’s a vet tech, and we all followed the Tale of The Abandoned Cat, knowing we already had 3 cats and 2 dogs and there was no way we were able to…..
Yeah, we ended up with Mr Big, as we called him. Nobody had even bothered to give the poor thing a name, nobody knew for sure how old he was, but one look at him and Mr Big he became.
He was like no cat I ever knew, but the weird thing was he looked exactly like the lynx point Siamese we inherited after a neighbor passed away, they were like twins.
Except Mr Big was a love machine from the start. You’d pick him up and he’s put his paws around you, one on each shoulder like he was hugging you. He’d randomly howl for absolutely no reason then turn it into a yawn and a stretch, his Siamese cat eyes crossing before beginning a staring contest he always won. Because he had people eyes, not cat eyes.
Like clockwork, you could hear him coming up the stairs at night then he’d jump on the bed, do his best Stevie Wonder impersonation (Mr Big had bad vision and hearing) then flop himself down right in the middle of me and my husband, laying his head on one shoulder and putting his paw on the other’s shoulder. You know, so nobody would feel left out.
He’d stare at my face intently, his human eyes locking onto mine and he’d reach up a paw, claws in, and touch my face soft. Sometimes he’d try to lick my face and I had to tell him no thank you I don’t make out with cats and just keep petting him till I sneezed.
Did I mention I’m allergic to cats?
He was so long when he stretched he nearly took up the width of a queen mattress from claw to tail. And he’d lay his head on the pillow and get under the blankets watching television with us and purring loud with an occasional chirp thrown in there.
Then he’d remember he was a cat and spring up because he had to be somewhere else.
For absolutely no reason. Just cat logic.
I was petting him, explaining how frustrated I was with my writers block as he lay at my feet, he just did that low purr he always did, to let me know he was on my side.
I got up to make yet another cup of tea and stepped over him instead of making him move because, awww, it’s Mr Big, Senor Grande, The Biggest Man In The Vorld (that’s not a misspell, he demanded we say vorld instead of world, don’t ask.), Big Moner!
I stepped gingerly over him again so as not to spill hot tea on him and reached down to pet him only this time he didn’t purr.
I called him but I know he’s a heavy sleeper and half deaf so I got down on the floor to shake him awake and got no reaction from him. His eyes were half open but he sometimes sleeps like that and I continued to shake him, I started shouting his name, running my hands over him to feel him breathing, feel his heart beating, I checked his mouth, his breath, anything I could think of because this wasn’t happening I wasn’t losing another loved one we couldn’t lose Mr Big no no no no no God please no!
He was warm! He was just purring a second ago! All I did was walk a few feet and pour a cup of tea! There was nothing wrong with him!
Then I saw a puddle, forcing me to acknowledge the truth.
Mr Big was dead.
Just like that.
That’s when I started sobbing.
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“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” – Charles Dickens
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{December 1, 2013}   RIP Dinka ~ Sunday Stills ~ Pets

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I stumbled across a blog just now called Sunday Stills, http://sundaystills.wordpress.com/about/,it seemed like a strange kind of Fate, because just a few hours ago, we had to put one of out cats down (it doesn’t seem right to use the phrase “put her to sleep” for something so heartbreaking).
We have 2 dogs and now we have 3 cats rather than 4 cats and of course each and every one of them is loved equally, we have no children, our Pets are our children.
Her name was Dinka and she was born in an alley to another stray in another town; long story short, she’s been with us almost since she was born and she let us love her for 17 years.
Of course she was a Diva, long, lean, she’d strut around the house like a supermodel and always let you pet her, you know, when it was convenient for her.
She was beautiful and sometimes, if you were really lucky, she’d let you sit next to her, but as much as a Diva as Dinka was, she could purr with the best of them. And Diva or not, she purred a lot. She was loved and loved us all just as hard as we loved her. We will miss you so much Dinka, I’m going to miss fighting with you for the faucet when I brush my teeth even though you always won.
Thank you for touching our lives sweet Dinka, at least we know you’re up there with the ones who went before you.



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Anyanka isn’t really a monster, but her green eyes, which no photo can ever do justice to, are piercing and oh so beautiful! Although she was named after a vengeance demon she is the definition of skittish. She sneaks around the house in the midnight hours and for some reason, I’m the only human she allows to hold her.



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Mr Big had a hard life before he wandered into ours.
He’s a rescue cat, some stupid idiot also known as his original owner, lived in an apartment and somehow decided to move away and leave Mr Big outside, alone and homeless.
He was rescued and brought to the animal hospital where he wound up in three different homes before he ended up joining our little animal family. He now has 3 feline sisters and 2 canine cousins but Mr Big had a secret.
He’s actually a human in the form of a feline, or at the very least, he has human eyes and I would bet my life that he’s a vessel sometimes, he allows my Aunt Geri to check in on me from time to time. I’m hoping that my Mom does the same.

Human, feline, whatever the hell he is, he has this habit of sleeping in bed with us at night, he snuggles up, head on the pillow and blankets covering him, stares straight into my eyes and reaches up with his furry paws (claws in) and touches my face. He seems to be fascinated with my mouth and touches it gently before rubbing his head against my face.

Whenever I’m sad he somehow just knows and stays by my side. We have unconditional love for each other, which is more than I can say for most humans I know.



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