Friday, July 29, 2011
While I was at the shelter last night, I asked if they were in need of volunteers, figuring that at this time of year, with the kids out of school, they probably had more volunteers than they could use.
"Actually", Shelter Lady said, "We don't let kids under the age of eighteen volunteer anymore unless their parents are with them."
And do you know why? Do you know why? As it turns out, Shelter Lady explained, parents were using the shelter as a BABYSITTING SERVICE. That's right, they were dropping their beloveds, some of whom DID NOT WANT TO BE THERE, off in the morning, telling them basically to "go play with the cute kitties", and picking them up in the afternoon, expecting the SHELTER to provide supervision and entertainment to a bunch of bored kids.
Which ... WHO DOES THAT? What kind of an asshole would just DROP THEIR KID OFF at an animal shelter and expect the shelter to take care of the kid for the day?
As it turns out, enough parents DID THAT that the shelter had to change their policies to keep it from happening.
But! It's good news for me, because the shelter DOES need volunteers. So I am going to stop by tomorrow morning and see if I can help. I predict that scooping lots of litterboxes is in my future.
And oh! I have ALL KINDS of ideas for how to make the shelter more effective, beginning with giving those poor cats some HALFWAY DECENT NAMES, for Christsakes, and ... I am going to keep my mouth SHUT. I am going to keep my mouth SHUT and possibly LEARN something for a damn change. Interesting concept, no?
This could be the start of something really cool.
Okay! Now, before I talk (and talk and talk and TALK, heh) about volunteering, I'd like to talk about Little Girl's possible matches.
After the New Kitty adoption went so poorly, Shelter Lady and I spent a lot of time on the phone discussing who might be right for Little Girl. And when I went in last night, Shelter Lady had some possible matches picked out.
One was Oreo (gak!), a black-and-white who evidently was an indoor/outdoor cat in his past life, because he wants OUT of that shelter. The shelter prefers that their cats stay inside at their new homes, but Oreo is so clearly longing to be outside that they feel he may be best suited to be an indoor/outdoor cat. Which, how perfect would that be? At my house, he can go outside, any time he wants. And he is laid-back and friendly and good with other cats.
Another possible match was Benjy, a brown striped cat who was laid back to the point of being catatonic (Ha! CATatonic. Sorry.).
There was Little Boy Blue (WHO IS NAMING THESE CATS?), who is not blue (SURPRISE), and Tigger, and some others.
There was another cat there, Water Baby, who I really took a shine to, mainly because the poor thing has been at that shelter for YEARS, but Shelter Lady was not sure if he would be a good match for Little Girl. And you know what? For ONCE, I shut up and LISTENED. Imagine that!
And you know what? Maybe, in the end, none of them will match. Maybe Little Girl will be an only cat, and if that's the way she wants it, that's okay too. For once, it's not all about ME, and I feel like I'm learning ALL KINDS of things from this experience. Holy cow! Who'd a thunk it?
So time will tell, and I am going to start volunteering there (more on that later), and I will get to know all of these cats better.
So many cats!
Now! More shelter stories!
I had been calling the kitten of whom Little Girl was afraid "New Kitty". I know, original, right? It's just, the shelter had named her Mona, which, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE, and I was calling her "New Kitty" until I could come up with a name. I eventually decided on Sideshow Betty, but by then it was clear that she had to go back to the shelter *sob*.
So! I go to the shelter last night, and there is Mona (UGH). And there's another, older cat in her run, and Shelter Lady explained that that was Mona's MOMMA.
Could you just die? I had no idea that Mona's MOMMA was at the shelter too.
Oh! And you should have seen those guys! They were romping and playing and Mona would POUNCE on her momma and her momma would be all paws in the air, all, "Help! Help! I'm being attacked by a ferocious kitty!"
It was HYSTERICAL.
And the shelter has decided that it would probably best if Mona and her momma are adopted together, which, how cool is THAT? And when I left last night, there was a woman there who was looking for a new kitty and was very interested in the story of Mona and her momma.
Coming soon: Volunteer time.
Okay, first of all, I am really crunched for time today, with actual, like, DEADLINES and stuff, so I am going to have to squeeze this in a chunk at a time. Please be patient. Here's some highlights:
The bad news? New Kitty has not yet been adopted. The good news? She has been REUNITED WITH HER MOMMA. I didn't even know her mother was there, but she is, and the two of them are now sharing a run and are so happy it is incredible.
There are several cats there who would be a possible match for Little Girl. I am going to take my time for damn once and THINK about this.
I will have an opportunity to get to know the possible matches, as starting tomorrow, I'm going to be volunteering at the shelter.
And despite kids being out of school, they still need volunteers, because a few lousy parents ruined the whole kid-volunteer gig.
Okay! I have to go do some work for which I will earn actual money! Back soon.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Because I am going back to the shelter tonight.
Wait! Wait! Before you click away in disgust, I can explain ...
The shelter lady called last night. She reminded me that when I brought back New Kitty, I had left my carrier there.
I KNEW I left the carrier there, I just ... didn't want to deal with it. I figured, they're a shelter, they can probably always use more carriers, they can just keep my carrier. I'll buy a new one.
But! Shelter Lady called, and explained that they didn't need my carrier, and that if I was reluctant to come into the shelter, they would bring it out to the sidewalk for me ...
And all I have to say about THAT is, I wonder how many truly insane crazy cat ladies they deal with, to have that kind of protocol in place? "Okay, now for the ones who are so anguished that they can't even walk into the shelter, we'll take the carriers outside ..." But then again, wait a minute ... I AM one of those people who was reluctant to go back .... whoops. Holy shit. Does this mean that I AM a truly insane crazy cat lady? Naaaaa ...
But! Anyway! Shelter Lady and I got to talking, because it turns out that she ended up adopting a cat (Rainbow. I DID NOT NAME THAT CAT.) that I briefly fostered back in 2008, and we commiserated about New Kitty and how she was not a match for Little Girl, and how an older cat would probably be much better, and ...
... I am going back to the shelter tonight. To pick up the carrier. ONLY to pick up the carrier. And, well ... to look at a couple of older (as in, not kittens) cats who may be a match for Little Girl. Older, laid-back, calm, friendly-but-not-aggressive-toward-other-cats cats. With an eye toward possibly, MAYBE, some time in the future, trying again.
Because oh! oh! This morning? One of the cow kitties was in the garage, drinking out of the water bowl I keep out there for Little Girl, and Little Girl was just lying there all calm, watching cow kitty, not freaking out, not running away, just, all "Hey, cow kitty, what's the good word?" I KNOW she likes other cats; it was just that New Kitty scared her.
So, yeah, going back to the shelter. Feel free to ream me out in the comments.
And I am telling you, the hits just keep on a'comin'.
At two o'clock the other morning, I woke up. Little Girl was meowing at the side of the bed. Then, I could hear noise from the hallway:
"Scree! Eeee! EEEE!"
I didn't have to play Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, because I KNEW which one it was.
I just didn't know what kind of animal.
Bird? Probably. Baby rabbit? Could be, although their squeals tend to be more high-pitched.
Oh Christ. Now I can identify animals by their cries of fear. Super.
I tried to roll over and go back to sleep, figuring Little Girl would finish what she started, but to no avail.
"Scree! Scree! Eeee!"
I got up out of bed and turned on the lights. There was ... something ... in the hallway, but at two in the morning, I was more interested in just getting it out of the house than in discovering what it was. So I grabbed the Cool Whip container and the piece of cardboard, put the container on top of whatever-it-was and the board underneath, and headed outside.
Oh! Did you know there was a great big bright full moon a couple of weeks ago? AT TWO IN THE MORNING? Because there WAS, dammit. No wonder I'm always tired at work.
I went over to the brush line and released what turned out to be a very-much-alive and highly indignant bird. Starling, I think.
Now, here's the puzzler. Don't birds freaking SLEEP at night? Why was Little Girl able to access this bird? Why wasn't it in its nest? And if it WAS in its nest, how did Little Girl get it? Is she now climbing freaking TREES in the middle of the night to get to the birds?
It's like she's got a whole secret life that I know nothing about. And I would prefer NOT to find out about it a two o'clock in the morning.
Oh, and a kabillion points to anyone who can identify the source of the post title.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
And I can't watch the New York version, whatever its name is. Too testosterone-y. Oh, wait, I think it's "N.Y. Ink". Original.
I miss Millionaire Matchmaker. Whatever happened to that one? The guys were all so ... skeevy. Evidence that even a ton of money can't save you from being a jerky schlub.
Oh! And I really, REALLY miss Animal Cops. Although it got so I could hardly watch it anymore, even though all they showed were the stories with happy endings.
I love Teen Mom, but MTV needs to get its act together and start showing the reruns in some sort of coherent order. Then again, sane scheduling has never been MTV's forte - they just seem to throw random stuff up there. It's like a chimp is doing their grid or something. OH! And remember when they used to show music videos? *sigh*
I tried to get into "Expedition Impossible", but it's too similar to The Amazing Race. And I think I'm getting burned out on the whole race-around-the-world thing.
I really like to watch Hell's Kitchen. Something about watching the contestants chain-smoke is oddly compelling. But I don't like Gordon Ramsay. Even though I once had an extremely inappropriate dream about him. *cough*
I need to either start watching movies or cancel my Netflix subscription. I've had the same DVD for, like, three months now.
Oh! And I was listening to the radio last Saturday morning, and the announcer is all, "Coming up - Remembering Amy Winehouse", and I was all, "wellp, THERE'S a surprise - she finally kicked off."
Isn't that terrible? I wasn't even surprised. But, I mean, if you couldn't see THAT train coming down the tracks, you would have to be blind.
I wonder what did her in? Right now they're saying it was a bad Ecstasy pill, but I guess when you're doing a shit-ton of drugs chased down with lots of booze, it could be kind of hard to narrow it down.
And what's the attraction? I mean, I like a drink as much as the next person, (Okay, okay, sometimes I like SEVERAL drinks) but it's not like I want to go SWIMMING in it. Plus, who wants to feel like dogshit the next day? That's enough to rein me in, right there.
Not to say that I didn't do my fair share of overdrinking back in the day, because I did. Maybe you just outgrow that kind of behavior. Unfortunately, Miss Winehouse didn't live long enough to outgrow it.
And I suppose I could get into the story of my thirty-something niece who, ala, Miss Winehouse, is quite literally drinking herself to death. Why would you do that to your body? And it's not like she (my niece) hasn't been warned. The doctors have TOLD her that the next bout of pancreatitis could kill her. It's like if someone told you, "The next cigarette you smoke WILL KILL YOU", and you went ahead and lit up. Confusing.
But then again, I guess it's her choice. I guess.
Oh, and I was just reading the comments about one of the news stories, and someone said, "She (Amy Winehouse) was hard-wired for addiction. She didn't choose this."
Um ... I don't agree with that. She DID choose it. She chose it everytime she snorted a line or took a pill.
Now, I am in no way, shape or form comparing cigarettes to hard drugs, except ... well, I guess that's what I'm about to do, so ... Okay, so I smoked for thirty years. I chose to smoke. And then one day, I quit. I chose not to smoke. Was I addicted to cigarettes? Sure. It was an addiction, but it was also a choice. Yes, addiction is a powerful thing. So is your brain. Maybe they duke it out when you're trying to quit something, and whichever is stronger wins?
I guess if you've got a lot of people providing you with free drugs and stuff, it could be easy to overindulge. I don't know. It's just sad.
Now, I thought that I had come upon the end of the reception, which had spilled out of the hotel in preparation to say goodbye to the bride and groom, who presumably were going to leave via horseback.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Does anybody have any drama to spill that DOESN'T involve cats? Because I am floundering, over here. Come on, tell me all your family gossip.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I thought I had found the perfect companion for Little Girl. A six-month-old spayed female, playful and frisky and loving and friendly.
And Little Girl is afraid of her.
I have worked and worked and WORKED with the two cats, trying to get Little Girl to accept the new kitty. And she just won't. Every time the new kitty sees Little Girl, she goes charging after her in play, and Little Girl runs away in fear.
If circumstances were different, I would give this more time. I would give the two cats all the time they needed to get used to each other. But Little Girl has a heart condition, and now she won't even come into the house because she is so frightened of the new kitty, and the temps outside are supposed to hit ninety-five this weekend. I don't know what else to do but take the new kitty back to the shelter. (The shelter, by the way, is working with me on this, and is fine with taking the new kitty back. It is a no-kill shelter, so the new kitty will go back up for adoption until she finds a new home. That does not make this any easier.)
I was going to name her Sideshow Betty.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
So! I was in an antique store in Ithaca the other weekend. I went picking through the three-for-a-buck postcard box, and chose three that had interesting graphics.
Imagine my surprise when I got home and discovered that all three were addressed to a "Miss Gladys Bailey". Only one had an address - R.R. No 3, Newark Valley, Tioga Co., NY.
Newark Valley is about thirty-ish miles from Ithaca, and approximately the same distance from my house.
Only one card has a postmark, which reads May 1916.
Dear Miss Gladys Bailey: I've got your postcards. I hope you had a good life. I wonder if you married and had kids. Did you like living in Newark Valley? Did you live there for a long time?
I wish I could get her postcards back to her.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Friday, July 08, 2011
Okay, first off, scroll down to the previous post- I'm trying to figure out where all the popular kids are.
Now! I am taking a few days off. There are ALL KINDS of fun things going on around here this time of year, and I plan on sleeping through most of them.
I am going to do some hiking, and some shopping, and lots and lots of EATING, and lots of sitting with my feet in the kiddie pool, reading the National Enquirer.
See you on the flip side!
(Yearbooks: Facebook for old people.)
And I didn't find him, but I did take a big ol' trip down memory lane, which happens EVERY DAMN TIME I get out those yearbooks.
I went through a pretty big school system; there were 600 kids in my graduating class. Which means not only did I not hang out with everybody in my class, I didn't even KNOW a lot of the people in my class.
Of course, cliques were formed; I was a band geek and a choir nerd, and that's who I hung out with. I wasn't popular; I wasn't UNpopular; just somewhere in the middle, where most of us reside. I remember being bullied on the playground in elementary school, but that kind of stuff had pretty much faded out by high school; when you're in a class of 600, it's pretty easy to just avoid the bullies.
And while those of us in the middle knew who all the popular kids were, I'm pretty sure that the popular kids had no idea who WE were. Just the great unwashed, filling seats in study hall, dancing in their peripheral vision.
So here's a question: I read a lot of blogs. And I have YET to read a blog written by someone who says they were popular in high school. I read a LOT of blogs by people who say they were UNpopular; I read some blogs by people who were in the middle like me; but I don't think I've EVER read a blog by someone who was a head cheerleader, prom queen, dating-the-quarterback type gal.
So where did they go? Do none of them blog, or are they now claiming to have been UNpopular, just so they don't come across as stuck-up? (HAHAHA I WAS PROM QUEEN! IN YOUR FACE!)
What about you? Were you popular? Unpopular? Did you get picked on? Did you pick on other kids?
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Now, on to Little League!
I live next door to a small park that has a Little League field. Most years, the games start up around mid-May and wind up when school lets out the third week in June. This year? They're still going strong.
And I will tell you right now, those kids are OVER IT. It's hot and it's humid and they've been playing ball six days a week, sometimes seven, for almost two months now, and I don't think there's a single kid over there right now who really wants to be there. You can see it in the way they just kind of languish in the outfield, and listlessly trot around the bases when they get a hit.
Oh, and the parents are over it, too. Earlier in the season, the stands would be full of parents and siblings. Last night, there was ONE person in the stands. One. The parents just drop off the kids, and swing by a couple of hours later to pick them up again.
But you know who DOES want to be there? The coaches. Boy howdy, those coaches are still hot and heavy to PLAY SOME BALL, DAMMIT. As the number of kids has dwindled, the number of coaches has remained the same. Last night, there were six coaches. For five kids. They didn't even have enough players for ONE team, let alone two, but there they were, practicing batting and shagging balls.
You know what I think? I think those coaches should start an ADULT baseball or softball league. Then they could play all the games they wanted, and leave those poor kids alone.
Maybe I'll go leave a sign-up sheet in the dugout. Just a little hint.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
I'm thinking about getting a companion cat for Little Girl.
Reactions to that have ranged from, "That's fantastic!", to "That's a terrible idea!"
So I don't know what to do.
She misses her brother terribly. I KNOW that another cat would not replace her brother, but it would be someone to keep her company. She already tags around after the other neighborhood cats, looking for someone to be her friend.
Honestly? I want another cat, as well. I miss her brother. I miss how damn friendly he was to me.
Ever since he died, Little Girl and I have been rattling around the house like a couple of ghosts. I think we need another cat. And I'd like to get another one sooner rather than later, before Little Girl forgets how to share and play nice.
But. The people in the "terrible idea" camp think it would put too much stress on Little Girl.
I don't know if another cat would stress her out, but I do know this: I'm not going to put limits on Little Girl just because of her disease. She still hunts, and runs, and plays, and chases after the other neighborhood cats, and that's as it should be.
I keep coming back to that old movie, "Mask", where Cher is the mother of a pretty severely physically disabled son. She takes her boy to yet another doctor's appointment, where she gets yet another grim prognosis, and she explodes, saying, "If I had dug this kid's grave every time some new doctor said he was gonna die, I'd be halfway to Chop Suey, China by now."
So yeah. No Chop Suey for us. Little Girl is going to do everything she wants to do. I am going to try to ensure that her life is as happy and complete as possible. Now I just have to figure out if that includes having another cat around.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Sure enough, "The Road" was right up there. "On the Beach" also made the lists. At the top of some of the lists was "The Diary of Anne Frank", which, duh, how could I have forgotten that one? Although if you think about it, it's really only depressing if you know what happens after the book ends. Then again, who DOESN'T know what happens after the book ends, so, yeah.
Oh! But here's my all-time most depressing book ever: "The Dollmaker" by Harriette Arnow. I mean, I really liked the book and all, and I even liked the movie - didn't Jane Fonda play the dollmaker? But holy SHIT that was one depressing-ass book. The kid and the train tracks? Oh my GOD. Oh, crap, now I think I'm gonna have to Netflix it. Shit.
So! Let's hear it! What's the most depressing book you've ever read? I'm looking for some light summer reading. HA.
Friday, July 01, 2011
Now, on to Recently Read. Skip it if you wanna.
1. Notes from the Underwire by Quinn Cummings - To steal a blurb from the book cover, this was kind of like Erma Bombeck for modern times. Fast and funny - I liked it. Oh, but a heads up - the penultimate story, "Dog Days", will break your heart. Just so you know.
2. The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring - Novel about a "footloose" woman and how she influences a small town - Much better than "Thank You For All Things", the other book of hers I tried to read - this one was good.
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - This is one of the "classic" books I never read in high school. It's about a future society. I'm sure it was a shocker back in 32, when it was first published. It was mostly serious, sometimes funny, and thought-provoking. One of the better "classics" I've tackled.
4. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank - Novel set in the fifties about what happens to a small town after a nuclear war. Depressing, but interesting.
5. I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg - Oh, I love Fannie Flagg - her books are so comfy. This is about a realtor dealing with an existential crisis - it sounds like a drag, but it's a charming book.
6. But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn - Memoir from a Rolling Stone journalist. Interesting and funny.
Hey! Let's do a movie review! Okay, first, "The King's Speech". Snooooooooooore. Well-crafted, but holy crap what a SNOOZE. THIS was the best picture of the year? Bah.
Oh! And one more! "Vernon, Florida". I am not a big fan of Errol Morris documentaries, this one included. 'Nuff said.
Okay, back to the books:
7. Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt - typical Young Adult fiction - young woman in peril, tons of implausible situations - I'm too old to be reading this stuff.
8. Don't Sleep with a Bubba by Susan Reinhardt - Essays. I read her book "Not Tonight, Honey" and really enjoyed it. I got about ten pages in to this one and almost quit because it started out such a stinker, but it got better as it went on.
So! That's what I've been reading! What about you?