Snow

Roseanne’s office was always cold.

When I had first started going to her for counseling she would apologize and frequently rub her hands up and down her arms as if to make sure I was aware that she was suffering as well and to not blame her for the frigid climate. I had assured her that I didn’t mind the cold. This was, in fact, true. If the office was cold then I had a perfect excuse to keep my jacket on and enjoy the false sense of security it gave me to have it wrapped around my shoulders. My survivalist brain also registered that it would be easier to make a hasty retreat if I didn’t have to search for a jacket hung somewhere on an obscure hook. I allowed that a jacket could be sacrificed if a situation required it but I rather liked the jacket–a leather one with the Led Zeppelin Icarus painted on the back–and I decided that I would put it in as little sacrificial danger as possible.

After a year of seeing her for therapy, the temperature in Roseanne’s office continued to hover around “Arctic” though her performance had changed from apologies and arm-rubbing to complaints and eye-rolling.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell the super to raise the heat in this building,” she snarled as she pulled a sweater from her closet.

I didn’t know either so I remained silent.

“With how much I pay them in rent it’s the least that they could do. And I’ve told them that I’ve had clients complain about how cold it is.”

I shrugged. “I don’t mind.”

Roseanne’s face convulsed between a series of dirty looks as she tried to decided if I was being obstinately contrary in expressing an opinion which disagreed with hers, or if I was being ridiculously polite and protecting the sensibilities of an inept superintendent.

“How can you not mind?” she finally challenged me.

I would have done some eye-rolling of my own except that this would have indicated what I was thinking and I had long since decided that I wasn’t going to let Roseanne know what was really going in my head. Mind you, this wasn’t a personal reflection of Roseanne, though her personality was in perfect harmony with the temperature of her office, but rather a rule in general when it came to counselors. I had seen several over the years and after a disastrous experience with my first counselor I realized that no amount of psychological training could prepare another creature to wade through the fucked up kettle of fish that swam in my head.

“I’m only in here for forty-five minutes,” I told her which was both a deliberate barb in regard to what was supposed to be an hour long session, and a satisfactory answer to her question which revealed nothing. I adjusted my jacket and leaned back into the couch.

Roseanne drew the line of unprofessional between dirty looks and talking about financials so she gave a dismissive sniff and opened up the folder which contained all of the secrets I had let her discover about my person.

“Let’s see, Kat, where did we leave off last week?” she murmured looking through her notes.

I cringed inwardly as I always did when she used my nickname. This was another common characteristic I had found in counselors in that they always ask what your friends and family called you and then used that name profusely. It helped them to create the illusion that they are friends listening to your problems because they care rather than uninterested third parties whose time you have bought. When it came down to it counseling is really just prostitution without the STDs.

“I don’t remember,” I told her.

“Well, then what happened this week?” she asked completely oblivious to my lack of enthusiasm.

“My former brother-in-law, Ronald, called my mother and said that he found some things of mine that my ex didn’t burn and was going to drop them off,” I offered.

“What was it he found?” Roseanne asked.

“I don’t know. I think it was a tote of some old toys that my grandmother made me get out of her basement when she was cleaning. They probably survived because my ex most likely thought that they were my niece’s old toys. When Ron heard that I was moving he also offered to bring up some of the kitchen and bathroom stuff that I had bought. But I’d rather he not bring that all,” I added.

“Why not? If you bought those things then they belong to you,” she told me.

“They don’t matter. I told you about the night that I left and all I cared about taking with me was Kira, and my old “Wonder Woman” comics if I could, and that’s how I still feel. The rest were things. Things don’t matter.”

Things are expensive though,” she insisted. “Those things can help you as you move into your own little nest.”

I wrinkled my nose before I could stop myself. If there was one thing that I was not building it was a “little nest”. Nests are for newlyweds and adorable birds just out of college. The least that you could accuse a feline such as me of building would be a den, though a dungeon would probably be closer to the mark in my particular case.

“I’ll either make do without them or I will buy them myself when I can afford them,” I replied as soon as my nose had returned to smoother state.

“That’s absurd. There’s no taint of your former marriage on your kitchen things,” Roseanne said.

“There is if my ex has peed in them.”

“What?” To Roseanne’s credit she processed this declaration with little more than a slight cocking of the head.

“I’m pretty sure that my ex has peed in my Kitchen-Aid by now,” I said.

Actually, for all for all of his flaws, my ex appreciated fine mixing equipment almost as much as I did and I was confident that my Kitchen-Aid had not been molested, however Roseanne had called me “absurd” so I felt the need to live up to that accusation.

And she had also come dangerously close to uncovering a truth so it was serendipitous that my conventional method of diversion was to say something inane. I’ve become so excellent at this skill that it’s a reflex rather than a reaction now. In much the way that a leg kicks up when it encounters a strike to the knee, my inanity kicks up when it encounters a strike to my brain.

I sat waiting for Roseanne’s response. I hoped that it would be another dirty look since I was creating a mental catalog of all of her annoyed facial tics. She would be a brilliant curmudgeon in a future novel.

Roseanne gave me a deadpan expression. “Then wash it before you use it,” she said.

I was so delighted by this spontaneous drollery that I almost considered taking off my jacket for the rest of the session.

Instead I told her about the time that my ex left me at a rest stop as punishment for telling him to get off at the wrong exit, because sharing a horrible experience with a counselor is akin to leaving an extra five bucks on the motel nightstand.

As was the case whenever I told her a tale of my recent former life, Roseanne listened raptly making up for my monotonous intonation with her own grimaces and colorful commentary.

“He is a horrible!” “What a jerk!” “Are you sure that he did not have some sort of mental deficiency? Because no adult male should behave like that!”

She was never so pleased with herself as when she implied that my ex suffered some sort of malignant mental malady and she, through her astute listening and brilliant deduction had diagnosed him without even a personal consultation. I let her enjoy the moment because I was still amused by her remark about washing the Kitchen-Aid, but I found myself experiencing the empty feeling that comes when a hilarious joke is no longer funny.

Despite my glaringly obvious contempt for counseling, I had entered therapy with genuine intentions of talking about my problems and attempting “to get better”–if there even existed such a state for someone like me–only had I planned on doing this is the most clinical and sterile manner possible, without the messy display of emotion that usually erupts from one’s eyes and nose during a counseling session. I expected this to be a challenge, after all I had been through some very traumatic experience, however I as shared each of the mauvais quart d’heure which were to blame for my sorry state I realized that it was quite simple to keep my emotions in check, namely because I was not feeling any. Initially I thought that it was because I was so loathe to reveal emotion in front of other people that my brain wouldn’t even attempt to access them knowing that I wouldn’t indulge the feelings anyway, but I found that even in the lone safety of my bedroom I could not feel anything. I replayed my most painful memories over and over and I could not even muster a sniffle. I squished up my face and hyperventilated and rapidly blinked my eyes but I could not convince myself to cry. To be honest I didn’t truly want to cry but I felt like I should want to cry, and furthermore I would like the option to be able to cry if the notion should strike me, but it was impossible. All of my tears were gone, or washed away, or dried up leaving behind less salty residue than it would take to thaw an icy patch of sidewalk.

If my lack of emotion wasn’t puzzling enough already I was surprised to find that their absence did not seem to bother Roseanne in the least. Even my rudimentary knowledge of psychology told me that this was likely a problem, and I anticipated a lecture from her about dealing with my feelings, but much like my tears, castigation remained absent. I wondered about her lack of concern regarding my phlegmatic state but I finally decided that she was simply grateful for a client who wasn’t constantly plucking at the requisite box of tissues which all counselors keep within arm’s length. I would have cancelled any further appointments with her at that point but by then she was comfortable enough with me to drop her professional manners and so thoroughly verbally thrashing my ex-husband that I decided to continue therapy for the entertainment alone.

But as I sat on Roseanne’s couch that day, idly twisting the chenille tassel of a of the chintz pillow between my trembling fingers and recounting the details of the trip that will forever make me averse to visiting Florida, I decided that I had had enough of this game. It had been gratifying to hear someone regard my ex with the venom that I could no longer muster, but this mock therapy was not helping me to feel any better about myself, in fact I felt worse than I had a year before. While the pain and anger I’d felt then had been unpleasant at least there had been something inside me, some kind of fire in my belly to make me live if for no other reason than to spite the ex who had assured me that he had been too instrumental in making me who I was to live without him. Now I felt nothing. I felt nothing, and I wanted nothing and I was, indeed, nothing. If I’d had any emotions I probably would have been terrified at that moment but instead there was only the tiniest of twinges like a candle being snuffed out with a pinch.

If Roseanne had asked what I was thinking at that moment I would have answered her from my broken soul for once. Instead she made an errant scribble in the folder containing my married name written in black Sharpie marker and looked up. “Well I guess that will do for today.”

I looked at the clock.

4:40.

“Same time next week?” she asked brightly.

“Yeah, that’s fine.” I gave her the check for my $20 copay and left the office.

On the day of my appointment the following week it began to snow. There was a healthy two inches on the ground by the afternoon–a veritable blizzard by southern New Jersey standards, so I wasn’t surprised when Roseanne called me cancel my appointment.

“What day do you want to come in instead?” she asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t have my calender with me so I’ll call you back and reschedule,” I replied.

Of course I never did.

snow, woman

Photo by Mike Wood

Part 2 of My 200th Post Celebration Featuring Your Animal Rescue Stories!

The wait is over! I present the the follow up to the first half of the animal rescue stories sent in to celebrate my 200th post.

(A side note here is that I would be a terrible editor because, while I’ve become somewhat proficient at killing my own darlings, I was only able to bring myself to parse so much from these stories. They were just too excellent. Ergo, a few of these are a little long but they are so worth the read.)

~Emily & Melanie: Just Ducky

My fur baby is named Emily Ann, she is (we believe) a Blue Russian cat. I found her 13 years ago when she was just a tiny baby. I had taken the trash out and it was cold and raining. When I was heading back in I heard this low weak sounding meow. I checked my neighbors steps and found this tiny little ball of sopping wet fur that was just shivering uncontrollably. I immediately swooped her up and took inside with me. I gave her a nice warm bath and wrapped her up in a towel fresh from the dryer. After getting her to eat a little from a kitten bottle she perked up some and decided that I was her person.

I looked at her sweet fuzzy face and just knew she was an Emily (a name I had decided I would name my first born daughter). Emily quickly became nicknamed Ducky since she followed me like a duckling follows its mother. She is now 13 but acts like a kitten still, she also greets anyone who enters her bedroom (it’s really her room I just sleep there, lol) and will answer you by meowing when you talk to her. All in all I couldn’t imagine my life without this amazing, loving cat that I have adopted as my furry child. She is more like a person then a cat to me and I feel blessed that she chose me to be her human.

cat in a box

~Bengie & Emelly: Taking Him From the Streets (Twitter)

I was talking to my eldest daughter in the balcony of our apt at 10:00pm when we saw this white and terrified dog in the bushes in the middle of the avenue. We keep looking to see what he was doing and I started to get worried that a car could hit him. My husband wasn’t fond of the idea to bring the dog up to the apt but I didn’t have the heart to let him be so scare and alone in the street. I changed my clothes ( I was on my pjs),took my keys, went to the elevator ( we used to live on the 11th floor), crossed the ave and look for him. He was near the bushes in the middle of the street and trying to call him so I could get him he got scare, ran and almost got hit by a car. I started to run towards him and took him. We took him to the vet, he was infested with ticks, had skin problems, an ear fungi and low weight. This happened this past February and we would not be happier. He is a healthy and beautiful dog now.
rescue pup, rescue dog, rescue stories, animal rescue

~Katie-bug & J.Day: For the Love of Uneven Floppy Ears (The Ramblings of Charlie Brown)

I think I was about 14 yrs old; it had been about a year since our old dog JR’s death and we were finally ready to get a new puppy and playmate for my Lab mix, Dustie. Mom read about a litter of puppies that had been abandoned by the owners of a house – left in the laundry room. A neighbor heard puppies and had called the city pound.

As we left the house for the pound, Mom said, “They are Doxie/Terrier mixes, long and short hair. I’m going to pick out a short-haired female. Yep. That’s what I want.” Half way there it turned into, “Weeeelllll, any female shall do.” The second we walked into the kennels, “Aw shit, the first one that jumps on me is going home with me.” Fortunately, that was a long-haired female with completely uneven floppy ears.

We took her home, named her Katie (which soon became Katie-bug) and discovered her biggest flaw – she peed every time anyone came up to her. It took us years to break her of that. She fell in love with balls (tennis, golf, soccer, volleyball, if it was round and she could chase it, it was her favoritest toy ever). Mom once hid the tennis ball in the desk so the dog would just stop playing fetch, and that dog sat there, staring at the desk for hours – like the desk may throw it and she didn’t want to miss it.

That silly ball-loving-pee-when-I-meet-someone-new-car-sick-getting dog was the most adorable uneven floppy eared dog ever. Until she dropped a saliva-ladden tennis ball in your lap with a big shit-eatin’ grin on her face – for the 700th time in a half hour. Then she was evil. And disgusting. But we still loved her.
animal rescue stories

~Tucker & Stephanie & Shel: The Perfect Mix (Odd Duck Studios)

Lilly is useless as a guard dog, so [Shel and I] agreed that another dog – especially something with a big bark – wouldn’t be a bad thing.

We probably argued for weeks. Shepherd vs. Pit. Breeder vs. Shelter. Shel was worried that a shelter puppy wouldn’t be young enough and, well, we already deal with enough early-life neuroses with Lill. Finally, I think we just sort of put a moratorium on the whole thing.

A little while later, a coworker of mine was looking for a SMALL dog, preferably to adopt. So, there I was, trolling Petfinder.com when I come upon this picture of a puppy who is totally not what my coworker is looking for. This little fella, who they were calling Harley, was there, staring out from between the bars of his cage.

We got to the shelter and asked to see him. Once he had all four paws on the floor, he headed for the door and looked back at Shel and I and barked at us – clearly telling his new Moms that he was ready to go home. Shel tried to be rational and give him a good lookover, but I can tell you that it wouldn’t have done her a whole lot of good to tell me that we shouldn’t take him home.

Tucker will be four in March, we think. We got him on Earth Day – I recycled him instead of getting a new one and let him get “thrown away” – and we’re relatively certain that he wasn’t less than six weeks or more than 8 weeks old. He is absolutely our fur baby and couldn’t be more of a combo of mine and Shel’s wishes–PART SHEPPARD, PART PIT–if he tried. If I am away from home, I miss him almost as much as I miss his Mom. We laugh at those bumper stickers that say, “Who rescued Who?” because that’s us.

animal resue story, pit bull sheppard rescue~Topaz & Michelle: Cat Envy No More

I grew up in rural Georgia and always had outdoor cats. My parents didn’t allow animals in the house, so I knew that once I grew up I’d get a house cat. After I finished college in Boston, all of the apartment buildings I moved to had a no-pets policy, which sucked big-time. Lucky for me the managers of the apartment that I was living in 11 years ago decided to change their policy on pets. Once I found that out, I couldn’t wait to get a cat.

After a bit of research I visited Boston’s Animal Rescue League. On my first visit I saw an older cat that I liked, but he had a heart murmur and I wasn’t sure I could afford the care that he would need. On my second visit I knew I had found “the one”. She was a black kitten with a tuft of white fur on her chest, and they called her Toesie because she’s polydactyl. Toesie was very playful and cute. After playing with her I knew I had to take her home. They told me that she was 6 months old and had been abandoned by her previous owners when they moved out of their apartment. How sad that they would leave such a sweet girl behind!

Once I adopted her, I changed her name from Toesie to Topaz, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Having her in my life has gotten me through some tough times. Men have come and gone, but Topaz has always been there.

(Note from Kat: Topaz is my goddaughter!)
animal rescue stories, cat rescue

 

~Buddy & Lance: Two Guys Living With A lot of Girls (My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog)

My wife, referred to on my blog and medias that are social as The Bobina, works at an animal hospital as an office manager. One morning in May 2009, only a few months after we’d been married, a 3 1’2 year old golden retriever came in that had been abandoned by his previous owners. Because he had heart worms and was much older than most rescues, he would’ve have likely gone to a shelter. We had neither the room nor the time to bring in a family pet, but we figured it out. When I cam home that afternoon, I had a son, a dawg son, to go along with my wife and 3 daughters. Buddy is about to celebrate his 8th birthday. He’s a daddy’s boy who chewed up my wife’s copy of “50 Shades of Grey”.

golden retriever, animal rescue stories

~Kodi & Kianwi: “Let’s Go Home Now.”   (Simply She Goes)

About two months after my beloved dog, Brady died, I was driving past the Detroit Zoo when I noticed a sign announcing their adoption event.  Hundred of dogs and cats from area shelters are brought to the zoo twice a year to hopefully find their new family.  I hadn’t felt ready to get another dog, but on impulse I drove in and began wandering around, looking at the precious poochies.  Though I was occasionally teary-eyed from missing my old dog, I asked to see two dogs that caught my eye, but put both back, saying I would think about it.  Feeling like it wasn’t the right timing, I was getting ready to leave when one of the shelter ladies said, “let me show you this one last dog.”

I looked over to see one of the very few dogs that was just sitting in his cage, not panting or barking, but looking up at me with serious brown eyes.  I got him out and she told me he had been in a shelter in Detroit for 2 ½ months.  I  remember thinking, “oh boy, I just got a new dog.”  I took Kodi to my car, where he hopped right in and sat down, looking at me as if to say, “let’s go home now.”  And we did.  For anyone that reads my blog, you’ll know that I have become his devoted slave ever since .

(Note from Kat: This is Kira’s boyfriend!)

animal rescue stories

~Apollo & Nicki: The Nega-MacGyver (The Loaded Handbag)

I first met Apollo in the parking lot of a Hardee’s. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the 100% legitimate meeting spot of a Carolina rescue organization, chosen for its convenient location off the highway and its proximity to Tidewater Virginia and not, shall we say, for its scenic ambiance. There were six puppies. Five were yapping and whining at the front of the cage. One was sitting by himself in the back, calmly lapping water runoff off the tarp.

I realize this is not the most romantic opening. I realize that a dog licking water off a tarp would not say to most people, “Hey, this dog’s a keeper!” But in my head, I went, “He’s calm! He’s smart! He’s resourceful! He’s like the MacGyver of dogs!

Five years later, I can safely attest my dog is not the MacGyver of dogs. But he is a gigantic goofball, one who would happily spend every waking moment of his life chasing flying objects (literally any flying object. Balls. Sticks. Shoes. Bananas.), engaging in epic battles with the sprinkler, and licking pants. I don’t know, man.

For the first year of his life, this dog kept me sane, kept me company, kept me looking forward to waking up every morning in what became a very hellish time in my life. Luckily, we eventually met someone with a dog of his own, and today we all live together in Brady Bunch-esque combined-family bliss. But as much as Apollo loves the love of my life, I know he’ll always be mine, the one who kept me sane, kept me company through some of my darkest hours.

animal rescue stories

 

~Ashley & Skittles: Just a Handful (Instagram)

I was working in a dog boutique in Irvine, CA last year when we got a call at the store from this family saying they had found a puppy in a dumpster in their apartment complex and could not keep her and wanted to know if we could post a flyer in our boutique to help her find a home. We of course said yes!

They walked into the boutique with this 3 lb little puppy who fit in the palm of your hand. And I instantly fell in love with her. After visiting with them for a little while they headed home to make her a flyer to post in our store. After they left I tried really hard to get her out of my mind but the more I tried to, the more I couldn’t! So the next day I called them and told them I would be interested in possibly taking her and I would be going on a vacation for a couple days and would like to take her to meet my family and see how she was, with the deal that they could take her back for the 2 weeks while I was moving….they agreed and I went and picked her up the next day. Within a couple hours of my vacation with her I knew she was going to be my dog. Fast forward 4 days and I was coming home from my vacation and not looking forward to having to give her back to them while I moved.

The next day I couldn’t stop missing her, and 2 weeks seemed so long, so I did some begging and pleading and got the go ahead to move into my new place a week earlier than planned so I could go get my four legged little girl. I went and picked her up with my car loaded with boxes and she and I moved into our new place and started our life together. She is the craziest and most high energy pup I have ever had, but she has been my best buddy and wing woman this past year and has been by my side through 2 moves, my dad losing his battle to cancer, and a heartbreaking break up with the man of my dreams! When she walked into my life it was apparent she need someone (who turned out to be me), but what I didn’t realize was I needed her just as much as she needed me.

mixed breed, animal rescue stories

~Asta & Tara: Kintsugi (Thin Spiral Notebook)

One reason we were so charmed by [Asta], is that she is physically challenged. She will have a pin in her hip, a remanent from her surgery, for another month. Her injured leg appears shorter now, and the prognosis is that she’ll always have a limp.

For older dogs, imperfect dogs, it’s much harder to find Forever Homes. We sought out such a dog, mainly on the expressed wish of our son. Being a bit different himself, he can empathize and wanted to give a loving home to a needy pet.

Watching Asta peacefully sleeping this morning, the Mister mentioned how much happier she seems, and asked if I was still glad we adopted her.

“Do you still like your smelly, broken Valentine gift?”

I told him about the Japanese tradition of repairing broken pottery with gold-filled resin. The art of Kintsugi, “golden joinery,”  mends shattered vessels so that they are considered better and more beautiful.  I said I thought of Asta like that. She was broken, but with all the love we can offer, her wounds would mend and be made more beautiful.

labrador retriever, animal rescue stories

And that concludes my 200th post celebration! Thank you all again for being here and reading, and an extra thanks to the people who sent me their adorable stories.

My 200th Post Celebration Has Gone to the Dogs! And the Cats! PART 1

This is my 200th post.
And it’s HUGE!

First of all, the fact that I, an extremely slow writer with the most erratic life which simultaneously creates inspiration for posts yet prevents me from having the time to actually write them, have completed and posted two-hundred entries is bloody monumental.

Second, it’s quite literally huge because when I put out the call in my last post for your animal rescue stories, I wasn’t sure how many of you would have time to respond, but lot of brilliant peeps came through big time. You came through so much in fact that, despite editing your stories a teeny bit where I could, there was just too much love to put in a single post so this is the first of two celebration posts. When we party we party big up in here, yo!

Part Deux is going to run on Thursday (statically the other high traffic day and I want everyone to get as much exposure as possible…and because I’m not off until Wednesday and I’ll need to sleep at some point this week) so make sure to come back to read the rest of these wonderful tales of rescue love.

As I mentioned above, I work a lot of hours (pretty much all of them between writing and my second job) and whenever one of your stories popped up on my phone it truly made my day, so thank you all so very much for sharing them with me. Not only did your stories make me smile (and sniffle in a few cases) but they are the very things that make a difference in spreading the word about how awesome it is to adopt an animal. As most of you know both Kira and Seamus were rescues so it’s a cause that is very dear to me.

Finally, thank you, thank you, two hundred times thank you for being here and reading my what-the-fuckery and helping me to reach this landmark. I’m a writer which means that I can’t not write but it means the world to have you all here to read it. MASSIVE GROPING HUGS TO YOU!

And now without further ado, here are your animal stories! PART ONE!

~Brody & Stacy: The Bromance (Instagram)

I didn’t think I’d get another fur kid. I saw something on facebook about a dog at a shelter an hour from my house and I just remember thinking how awful it feels to be left alone. As I was walking around [the animal shelter] wondering what to do (and panicking because I *could not* leave without bringing a pup home (I can’t articulate that feeling)), I saw a brown bear right there in a cage. Good God he was huge. And his fur! If an afro and a cloud mated, the result would be what I was seeing before me. And I met Brody. In the 10 or so minutes we spent meeting each other, he showed me no less than 15 facial expressions, a freckled tongue and a gentleness that surprised me.

It’s been three weeks today since we rescued each other. He is kind and gentle and playful and curious and still tilts his head when he’s confronted with anything out of the ordinary. And I’m lucky. It boggles my mind why anyone would get rid of him voluntarily (the story was a “change in lifestyle” and that “he doesn’t get along with other pets” which is ridiculous), but I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m going to write the shelter a letter and a separate one and ask they forward it to his previous owners. Thank you, Person Who Didn’t Want My Dog.

nightmare dog, animal rescue stories

~Roxxi & Gina: Pibble Love

Roxxi is the sweetest girl & best companion anyone could ask for! I went to the shelter in search of a puppy. I sat cross-legged in the middle of the floor amongst all of the dogs & Roxxi came right up, crawled into my lap & laid her head on my shoulder, we’ve been best friends ever since. She was due to be euthanized & I just couldn’t let that happen. I could say that I rescued her that day…but really, in every way that counts, she is the one who rescued me!

animal rescues

~Alexandria, Nineveh, Lucy & Brenda: Finding Out You’re a Dog Person

I found Alexandria & Nineveh in a shelter in South Carolina around 2005 or so. Alexandria convinced me to take her and her sister home, and they have been running the household ever since. (Though I suspect that Nineveh is really the evil genius behind most of their plots).

Lucy adopted my father-in-law several years ago. The story goes that he was at work (I believe he was repairing engines at the time), and Lucy walks into the workshop, walks past several of my FIL’s coworkers, and sits in front of him with a look as if to say “You’re the one. Take me home.” He got her a bowl of water and they were inseparable until just this past year. Sadly, he was diagnosed with ALS last year, and the rapid progression of the disease has made it impossible for my in-laws to give Lucy the time and space an active dog needs. Keith and I took her in, and she has since convinced me that I was, in fact, also a dog person. (I swore I wasn’t, but holy crow I love that dog).

cats, dog

Note from Brenda: Lucy broke her leg in the backyard at the beginning of the summer in a suspected squirrel-related mishap, but she refuses to tell me the details. I think the squirrel won that day. That’s why she’s wearing a cast in the picture. It has since come off and she is running around chasing squirrels and rabbits once again like the vicious hunter (not really) she thinks she is.

~Ozzie & Nancy: Brotherly Love (This Crazy Life of Mine)

We adopted Ozzie in April 2011. We had a crazy idea to adopt a brother or sister for Blue who we had since early 2010. The Humane Society of Pinellas County happened to post a video one day of an Australian Shepherd that had been dropped off by it’s previous owner because they had to move. That video sent me to the Humane Society immediately to meet him. He was shy and timid and oh so handsome. Someone else was in the process of adopting him, but it fell through and we were next on the list. Later that day, we took Blue up to meet him as they recommended. They didn’t even look at each other and we decided that was all we needed to take Ozzie home and spoil the heck out of him.

Ozzie has come so far 2 1/2 years we’ve had home. He came into our home unsure of how to act around my husband, very timid, and afraid of little things like a belt being picked up off the dresser and more. We realized very quickly that he probably did not live in the best circumstances prior to our home. We worked with him closely every day and he is now a happy go lucky dog who is so happy to be in our home.

Ozzie and Blue get along like most “brothers”, sometimes they drive each other nuts, but it’s also not uncommon to find them snuggling on the floor or couch. I am thankful every single day that we rescued Ozzie and have given him a home where he is spoiled rotten. He is incredibly loyal and he just wants to be loved. We joke about how the dogs don’t live with us, we live with them. They are our children and we love and adore them.

australian shepard

~Bear & Andrea: Ten Acres and a Dog  (My Everything Corner)

We had been living at our new home on a 10 acre piece of land for nearly a year, when I decided that enough was enough. Being that I am often alone out in the yard, I deserved a dog, the large space deserved a dog, and a dog deserved the large space.

It didn’t take too long looking at nearby shelters for our puppy to come in. The story was that he’d been dropped off in a Saskatoon parking lot with two young girls. Their big hearts took him home, but being that they already had a dog, and she didn’t get on well with Bear, they would have to take him to the SPCA.

We drove the 3 hours to Saskatoon, fell in love, and brought our new puppy home. His looks, his disposition and his size would suggest that he is Tibetan Mastiff cross.

It’s been well over a year, and with lots of training and even more love, we have the perfect dog. And myself, Bear and our 10 acres couldn’t be happier.

~Yoki & Bryan: Not Your “Classic” Rescue But a Rescue All the Same (A Beer for the Shower)

I rescued Yoki from a pet store. I know, that almost sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out. I was at the mall one day, walking by the pet store, when I saw this poor disheveled dog looking out at me from behind a glass cage. She was sharing a much-too-small pen with a huge bulldog that had been bullying her. Her hair was matted, her ears were down, and the fur on her tail had been chewed off completely to the point that her tail was nothing more than a limp noodle covered in red, raw flesh. I’ll never forget the sign that was posted beneath her.

“$100. Please take me.”

It was Christmas time. Everyone else was so excited to look at the other dogs and bring home a cute, well groomed puppy for their Christmas gift, but no one was even giving Yoki a second glance. And her, she just sat there, helpless, staring at me. Whimpering. Pleading with me to help her. She was getting old for a puppy – 6 months according to her tag, easily the oldest dog in the store – so I walked up to the counter and asked the girl what they did with puppies that didn’t sell once they got too old. The girl said, “We’re not allowed to disclose that.”

AKA they were going to put her down.

I saw potential in that dog. I knew she could be beautiful if the right person just took care of her, and nursed her back to health, and loved her. I knew that person had to be me. I knew if I walked out of that store that they were going to put her down. That I’d regret it for the rest of my life. I bought her on the spot.

She’s been my best friend for 7 years now, and even though I got her at a pet store** (the very place I hate), I have no doubt in my mind that on that day I saved her life.

**Said “pet store” has since been shut down
animal rescue stories, american eskimo, eskie

(By the by, Yoki is Kira’s unrelated nearly identical twin and if you want to read the comic that they made together then you can check that out here.)

That concludes PART ONE of my 200th post celebration, but please make sure to come back on Thursday for PART TWO and read the rest of the stories because they are all so heart-warming and adorable and so worth the read.

Get Ready FOR EPIC AWESOMENESS!

To quote Dave Chappelle who was quoting Rick James: “It’s a celebration, bitches!”

Or at least it will at my next post, which will be my 200th post!

american eskimo, eskies, dog, 200th post

I knew that I wanted to do something special for this landmark post but I couldn’t think of anything until the other week when one of my Facebook friends mentioned that she was going on a roadtrip to bring home a pup from an animal shelter. That’s when it struck me that I wanted to celebrate by having my 200th post dedicated to the awesomeness of animal rescue. I could do this just by talking about my own experience since both Kira and Seamus are rescues but whether I’m celebrating the anniversary of my BONing or my 100th post, I like to include other people and pimp the love out. Also, since I personally know that many of my awesome peeps have rescue stories of their own, I decided to open the floor–in other words, I want to hear your stories of rescue love and share them in numero 200.

I’ve already put the call out on Facebook last week and have received some completely face-meltingly adorable stories but there’s plenty of room to add more stories and to get yourself so exposure since I’ll definitely put a link to your blog or twitter or Instagram or whatever you want. Email me at katsidhe@gmail.com and send me a pic of you and your rescue dog/cat/ect, and a brief bit about them. I’m taking submissions until October 12th which is a little over a week so make sure to send me your stories ASAP, peeps!

LET’S PARTY!

PS-I made a form below that you can use to send me your info information but the only problem is that I don’t think you can use it to send a pic. And given my recently documented lack of computer skillz the odds aren’t good that I’ll figure out if this is possible, but I’m leaving it on here in case it helps anyone.

Letting Go

I’ve had an epiphantic weekend.

(I know that’s not a word but it should be.)

For example, I sometimes feel like the Past is unfairly vilified. There are so many memes spouting to “not let your past define you” and “you can’t look forward if you’re still looking back” and “blah blah fucking blah blah”. While I don’t deny that these sentiments are in fact correct, I feel like sometimes we can’t go forward until we do look back and see how much that past defined us. It just sucks because it’s never a simple analysis with an obvious answer and the time that we take to get the message into our thick heads is indeed time taken away from the move forward. And it just sometimes happens that the moment when our eyes are blurry from a combination of sweat and tears, when we blink furiously and only see the bottom of the toilet for a brief moment until the sweaty tears drop from our chin and shatter the water surface in jagged circles, that we see the clearest.

At about 3 am last Sunday I began throwing up more violently than I had thrown up in years. I initially chalked it up to food poisoning but even as I heard myself reciting that reason the next morning when I called my office manager to explain why I wouldn’t be in work I knew that bad food wasn’t to blame. I was to blame. Myself and my psychotic need to not only do everything myself but to do it and understand it perfectly…to stand in the middle of a furiously rushing river, holding on to broken tree branch because fuck you river, I am not finished analyzing what is on the bank right there yet.

On the most basic level I was overexhausted from staying awake at all hours due to frustration over this migration. While I managed to do the migration, I did it without fully understanding the internet protocol and how it actually worked. Do I really need to know the ins and outs of IPS? Probably not because I sure as hell am never doing a migration again, but it still pissed me off that I had to just accept that something worked the way that it did because that’s how it does. (And in a related note I was really fucking pissed that I couldn’t get the feed to work for blogger reader. I think I might have fixed it but I won’t know until I publish this.)

humans fuck up, letting go

I bitched about memes and then made one. GO HYPOCRITICAL ME!

On the deeper level though, I realized that the reason I was so stressed about having this site be perfect is because *deep breath* I’m insecure about my writing. All writers are insecure, and I’ve even admitted as much before, but I didn’t realize just how much until I had made myself sick over it. It was on my third day of lying on the couch in a fevered and dehydrated state was that it dawned on me that I was putting a shit-ton of work into my site because I felt like my writing alone wasn’t good enough to stand on its own. I felt like I needed a massive platform to tempt an agent into trying to market my novels and that my Alexa rating would be the thing to sell me instead of my ability. I know now that I can’t think like that anymore. I’m sure that I’m still making grave webmaster errors but I have to accept that they don’t matter.

This entry is so disjointed since you’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with that spew in the beginning about the past and analysis and shit, but what else I realized is that I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and, much like my irrational need to understand the mechanics of internet protocol, I’ve spent time analyzing those mistakes to ensure that I don’t repeat them and have wasted attention where it’s not needed. They were just mistakes. I’m not going to make them again because I’m not a moron. I do stand by my statement that you should learn from your past but sometimes you just do stupid shit and there isn’t any deeper meaning other than you’re a human and we fuck up.

And on another note there is some random shit that happens for no other reason than shitty things sometimes happen to good people.

I’m never going to be one to accept things at face value–it’s just not who I am–but I’m trying to entertain the possibility that the answers might not be complicated, that sometimes understanding comes with letting go.

I’m Sorry Since It’s My Fault That You Can’t Get Chicken and Waffles Chips Anymore

This isn’t so much of a post as it is an apology to all of the fans of the Lay’s Chicken and Waffles chips since it’s apparently my fault that you can no longer buy them.

Yesterday I walked in from a long day of being forced to interact with people via my second job and was greeted by my mother with, “Well I asked the guy at the supermarket, and they aren’t getting anymore of the Chicken and Waffles chips anymore.”

I grunted in response.

“The guy was really nice though. He said that they had some down in their Hainesport store.”

I grunted again as I flopped on the couch.

“He also said that the Chicken and Waffles chips were the ones that sold the quickest even though they lost the contest.”

I was about to grunt in response again when my mother turned from her computer to give me an accusing look.

“Apparently the stupid flavor that you liked won!” she snarled.

I blinked in shock at my mother because, first of all I wasn’t aware that I specifically liked any a particular flavor of potato chips, and second, I didn’t realize that by my liking a certain flavor of chip that I would be responsible for my mother not being able to buy these fucking absurd chips anymore. However it was quite apparent from the sparks flying from my mother’s hazel eyes, the steam shooting out of her ears and the fact that I’m pretty sure that for a moment she turned into a she-wolf that I, me, myself, personally caused the extinction of her Chicken and Waffles chips.

It was only after a dig through the Interbutz that I remembered that the Chicken and Waffles chips were one of three flavors introduced for a contest to pick the next flavor. I kinda remember my mother buying the three flavors (Sriracha, Garlic Bread and the coveted Chicken and Waffles) and I vaguely remember mentioning that I liked the Garlic Bread chips the best but that’s about it. I didn’t rave about the flavor and I definitely didn’t bother to vote in Lay’s goofyass contest, yet I still managed to swing the election in Garlic Bread’s favor. Had I realized that my mother was so emotionally invested in her flavor I would have used my alleged potato chip voodoo and made her Chicken and Waffles win.

So my sincere apologies to anyone who liked the Chicken and Waffles chips (and I suppose I should apologize to the people who liked the Sriracha since that’s probably my fault too) and is no l0nger able to get them.

Sorry, Mom.
lay's chicken and waffles chips, rage
(In other news, the migration is almost complete. I still have the “Writes Like a Slut Posse” page to do, ect, ect, ect…
This has been un-fucking-believable.)

Migrating From Blogger to WordPress While Battling an ICD Attack Was Not My Best Idea

Um, I guess you’ve probably noticed by now that the place looks a little different.

That’s because, in one of the worst cases of impulsiveness I have ever executed, I decided to migrate Katoninetales.com from Blogger to WordPress. I did this because I was having an Impulse Control Disorder panic attack and needed a distraction to ensure that I didn’t do something to hurt myself, and in a spectacular bout of irony ended up causing myself more pain than any of my vices could have done. This is because I don’t know shit about how computers and the interbutz actually work. As far as I know I click a button on my laptop and The Computer Fairy casts a magic spell to turn the computer screen into a window to Interwebz Land. Migrations are never easy but when you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing it’s like being dropped into a foreign country with a map written in Braille. And the Braille is in a different language. And you can’t understand what the natives are saying but you’re pretty sure that they’re making fun of your Fanny pack.

In other words, there are a lot of ways to fuck up a migration I did every single one of them.

First,

I Changed Servers Before Migrating My Site

To be fair to myself I will tell you that I did not expect my former host server to cancel my service as quickly as it did. I had emailed my host for my site’s EPP code (this is apparently the secret spell to unlock your domain registration) and they took it upon themselves to boot me off of their server at the exact moment that they emailed me back with the code. I found this out because my site went down late Friday. SURPRISE! I emailed my new server and asked them when my site would be back up. They of course emailed me back with basically “What site?” It was then that I learned that websites are not magic windows but actual files that need to be copied onto the new server while the old server still supports them “to ensure uninterrupted website service”.

Picard Facepalm Star Trek Fail

I Thought That Free Migration Meant From One Writing Platform To Another ie Blogger to WordPress

Anyone with any shred of computer knowledge is perfectly within their right to be laughing their ass off at me right now. I honestly cannot believe that I was so stupid except that I was so focused moving writing platforms that I had blinders on regarding the bigger picture of the server move. No it turns out that “migration” refers to those precious website files and moving them to the new server. This is important because as soon as you leave a host, they take all of your files and feed them to the troll that lives under the bridge and they are gone forever. And I had not moved my files.
Double Facepalm Star Trek Fail

I Assumed That The Live Chat Help Was More Than a Guy Typing With One Hand While Whacking Off With the Other

I immediately panicked and went to my new host site and clicked on the live help. I explained that I was a moron and realized that I changed servers before migrating my site and to please tell me that I didn’t lose my site forever. He asked my site name and then came back to tell me to submit a support ticket and disconnected me. I let the rudeness roll and sent an email to support apologizing for being a moron and asking how I could fix this. I was pleasantly surprised to get an answer after a few minutes but when I opened the email I saw that it was just to tell me to contact my old company. Fine, that makes sense.

I went to my old server site and tried to log in but it told me that my password didn’t work and that I could blow it. I politely asked to have my password emailed to me and received an email telling me that I could stick my password where the sun don’t shine would have to contact my new server company. What? I had no idea why my new company would have my old company password.

I replied to my new company’s email relaying this and they said that was because they were my server now. Well no fucking shit. I again got on Live Chat where the same guy asked for my ticket number and then told me to email customer support. I asked him if he couldn’t look at my ticket himself since he asked for the number and he replied, “No I can not.” and then disconnected me again.
Triple Facepalm Star Trek Fail
I immediately signed back on and as soon as he answered I replied that “can not is spelled cannot unless the not is part of another construction” and then I disconnected him. And let me just say here that I understand that computer people must want to pull their hair out when it comes to deal with computer-illiterate morons like me all day but this asshole didn’t even give me a chance before he hung up on me.

As a last ditch effort I emailed Google support since they overwrite Blogger and was told that I had to email the server company (my old company). So basically we were all playing Play The Kat.

Finally I did what I always do and fixed the problem my fucking self. It meant staying up for 24 hours straight on the computer to teach myself Internet protocol suite and then moving my site files–which I actually had backed up because I’m a fucking rockstar though they were not in the correct format to upload directly to a server.

So all of that bullshit said, my new site is up. Just please excuse my site’s temporary appearance because not only do I have to work my other job, but my brain’s server is fried.

My Two Favorite Animals & My Big-Mistake Son (An Interactive Post!)

As is typical in most doctor’s offices, the staff at my second job is made of all females with the exception of one male whom I adore. Oliver is fourteen years younger than I am so I tell them I’m technically old enough to be his mother.

“You can’t leave, Oliver! You’re like a son to me!” I told him when he announced that he would be leaving our office since he was transferring to college near Trenton.
He laughed.
“It’s not funny! You’re my son, Oliver! You know why? Because we’re family!” I insisted bear-hugging him until his face started to turn purple.

This might sound like I’m the antagonist in our parental relationship but this is not the case. I’m as innocent as a baby shark lamb. Take our exchange from a few weeks ago. I was at work minding my own business when Oliver came up and demanded that I name my favorite animal and then give three reasons why they are my favorite.

Rage face

My typical expression during these conversations with my brat “son”.

“Why?” I asked him looking up from the chart that I was prepping and crooked an eyebrow at him.
“It’s a game.”
I gave him a half-lidded stare.
“You don’t have anything better to do? Aren’t there charts that need to be filed?” I lectured like the Big-Mistake Mother that I am.
“They’re all done. Just answer the question. It’s fun!”
“Fine,” I sighed. “I like horses, but if it came down to it I guess dogs in general are my favorite animals.”
“And what are three reasons that like them?”
“Because they are loving and loyal and fun to play with.” I turned my attention back to my stack of charts.
“Alright, and what’s your second favorite?”
I threw my hands in the air and shook my head. “I have to give you another?”
“Yeah, just one more,” he insisted.
“Okay, then I’ll go back to horses. And I like them because they are beautiful and graceful and strong.” I added before he could ask for my three reasons.

[Pauses story here]

Here comes the interactive portion of the post! I’ll pause and let you think of your two favorite animals and the three reasons that you like each of them! FUN FUN FUN!

[Continues story]

“Ha!” Oliver snickered.
“What?” I demanded.
“Well I just learned in Psychology that the first animal that you name possess the qualities that you look for in a mate. And the second animal is how you see yourself.”
“No it doesn’t! You made this up!” I swatted him with the chart in my hand.
“No really! We did the exercise today!” he insisted. Then he took a step back and smirked. “So you think you’re beautiful, graceful and strong. You are really conceited, Kat!”
He took off down the hall before I could smack him again.
“This game sucks and you are a brat!” I snarled at his retreating ass.

Yes, I’m definitely going to miss my “son”.

Not Really a Post But More of a HA HA! Moment I Decided To Share

If you are my fraynd on the Facebook then you will see that my current status is that today’s originally scheduled post was not finished due to a visiting puppy. Puppy trumps all work. This is a fact.

However as I was perusing the Interbutz wasting time, I came across this cartoon and it made me snicker and I had to share it because I’m obligated to share amusing shit and also it explains my recent lapse in posting.

writers procrastinate funny

This is almost exactly what I have been doing for the past week and a half only instead of chopping wood I’ve been gardening. And while most people would yell at me for procrastinating on work that needs to be done on the novel (and rightly so but that’s an entirely different egg), I say that I had a legitimate excuse for all of this gardening. Namely that my mother saw a Hummingbird in the backyard and in my world this executes into tearing a part a Bonsai tree that has been growing wild for nearly two decades. (Don’t ask, just accept that this logic is normal for the circus that is my life.)

The hours of slaving in the sun and mosquito bites aside (and oh do I have one motherfucking spectacular rage-filled post about those assholes in the works) I actually think that I did a nice job in creating “Hummingbird Garden”. Mostly it seems to have made my mother happy and she puts up with a fuckton of my *ahem* eccentricity so it was worth it.

Bonsai tree garden before

BEFORE

bonsai tree garden after

AFTER

That is all one tree that I had to tame and you would not believe the shit I found while taming it. Aside from the dude buried amongst the branches who thought that Reagan was still president, it was like an entomologist’s dream of freaky fucking insects that were jumping out of me. It was seriously like being in bloody Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Not cool since I’m still traumatized from my battle with the Carpenter Ants from Hell.

*Sorry about the picture being the wrong way. I’m still trying to remember that I can actually turn my phone.

How To Look Like A Total Ass at the Beach With Your Dogs

I have been wanting to take my dogs to the beach for a long time. I thought that this would be a brilliant idea because I already love the beach and what could make it better except to be at the beach with dogs! Yes my mind was atwitter with shimmering visions of splashing in the ocean with my dogs and then laying on the beach as they recovered from the exhaustive ocean romp.

I was finally able to realize this beachy doggy dream the other week when I had a rare day off. Not only did I get to take my dogs to the beach, but also I learned how to look like an absolute moron while doing it. Yeah. So, here are my tips if you too are so inclined as to look like stupidass at the beach with your dogs.

(Before we begin I should mention that you get bonus points if you happen to take your dogs to the beach on the absolute hottest fucking day of the year because it makes every one of these points just that more brilliant.)

Make sure that you have to spend at least an hour in the car with your dog to get to the beach.

american eskimo dog

One of the few moments he turned to face me.

Since I like to do things over and above the watermark of stupid I live about an hour and a half from the beach but whether it’s one hour or three you’ll want to use this time to already begin to question your sanity at attempting this trip. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that at least one of your dogs have no car manners. In my case two out of the three dogs that I took on this excursion spent the entire ninety minutes trying to create as much havoc as possible by alternately trying to drive the car (Lily)** and attempting to balance on the middle console despite being the size of a small wolf (Seamus)–the latter of which resulted in long stretches of me having my dog’s ass in my face as I was in the back seat.

Hottest fucking day of the year bonus: During the drive you get no air conditioning because your dogs stick their faces in the A/C vents and hog it all for themselves.

(**Lily was not allowed in the driver’s seat which is extremely dangerous and upsets me whenever I see someone let their dog do this but that did not stop her from trying.)

Have one more dog than the number of people in your party.

Most people seem to only have one dog in their family but I call them pussies. If you want to look like a true ass at the beach then you bring more dogs than you can physically handle. I now have two dogs and I will tell you that it is exponentially easier to look like an ass while trying to control two dogs than it is with only one–especially since one of the dogs has not been trained by me since they were a puppy. I will admit though that I did have my mother with me and could pass off a leash to her while I untangled myself from my dogs’ attempts to mummify me with their leashes but since she still had to contend with the third dog in our crew it was still acceptable.

Hottest fucking day of the year bonus: The sand between the parking lot and the ocean is scorching and you have to carry to carry your dogs over it so that they don’t burn the pads of their paws.

Make sure your dogs won’t go in the water. At all.

You’ve brought your dogs all the way to the beach in a cramped car, carried their pampered asses over the sand and deposited them in front of the cool refuse of the ocean. Now you can watch as all three of them–including the one who loves water and always leaps into creeks like a little furry frog–scatter away from the water as if you were trying to drop them into Tabasco sauce. If you’re really lucky then the largest of your dogs will be so freaked out that he jumps into your arms and digs his claws into your tender flesh.

Hottest fucking day of the year bonus: You had planned on your dogs getting cool by going in the water and now feel like an asshole because they’re hot.

Buy the shittiest umbrella that $5 can get you.

Your dogs won’t go in the water but the good news is that you have an umbrella which snaps in half as soon as you try to shove it in the sand in an attempt to at least provide your dogs some shade.
Another reason you want your umbrella to be shitty is because…

The dog beach is bay-side where the wind whips across the water with massive fury.

The wind will rip that shitty umbrella right out of the sand and send you scrambling down the scorching beach with your arms outstretched and flailing like a drunken Frankenstein.

Hottest fucking day of the year bonus: the combination of heat with the high winds makes it feel like you’re in a massive convection oven.

Have a dog with a deceptively large mane.

He’ll manage to get out of his collar and you can go from chasing an umbrella like a drunken Frankenstein to chasing your dog like a drunken Frankenstein.

Hottest fucking day of the year bonus: Running. Duh.

Be so concerned with keeping the sun off of your dogs that you don’t apply sunscreen to several large areas on your back.

I look like I have vitiligo.

Hottest fucking day of the year bonus: Burns hurt worse in the heat. It’s a Kat fact which means that I said it so it’s true.

Have you fluky heart–which has been a complete trooper during this–finally say “What the fuck you are doing you moron? That’s it! Pass out on the hot sand right now!”

And though I didn’t completely lose consciousness it was nonetheless magical.

Pack up after two hours and take your dogs for ice cream.

american eskimo dogs

“Where’s the ice cream???”

They deserve it after all of the energy they put in to helping you look like a stupidass.

In closing, sometimes I even astound myself at my ability to create clusterfucks.