Cats, Death, I love cats!, Life, Love, Memory Lane, small joy, Uncategorized

Where There is Life

There is a window in my living room that is full of plants. There are at least 15 plants crammed in or near the only window in the main room of the loft space. It may seem like a lot, but in reality, it’s not nearly enough.


My cat of 16 years recently died. Well, she didn’t die per se, but I was forced with having to make the choice of giving her back to the universe. That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The night before I took her to the vet, I sat with her on the couch and we shared the better part of a rotisserie chicken. She ate until she couldn’t move.


I sat there with her for some time, thinking about the first night she spent in my care. My boyfriend at the time (BAT) and I wanted cats and had certain criteria: I wanted an all-black cat so I could name it “Mr. T” and he wanted 2 cats so one would never be lonely. It was a Sunday and we had been to countless shelters. No one wanted to adopt to us because we were in college. Around closing time, we found this dumpy little pet store in Shirley, NY and they had some cages with kittens, ready to be adopted free with $20 purchase.

And there they were, these two little scared babies – one all black, the other a mottled grey and cream. They were terrified and scratched me until I bled, but I loved them the minute I saw them.

After spending the obligatory $20, the kitties were packed up and took their very first and only trip ever to Walmart. The little babes were a little scared in their carrier, bumping around in the cart, and stayed huddled and quiet, snuggled together in complete fear. About $200 later, as we finished checking out, the store manager came over and kicked us out for having live animals in the store. Dick.

After loading the stuff in the car and checking on the babes, I see that they have peed all over the carrier. We took them out and put them in the backseat so the carrier could be cleaned. Once all tidy, the kittens were gathered to be put back in, but we could only find one. The fucking horror that ensued after realizing the little grey one was missing was incredible, not even 1 hour after getting these creature, we already lost one.

The Walmart security guard came around with flashlights and helped us look for the kitten. After about an hour, it started to rain and we lost all hope. BAT and I went home a little sad with one scared kitten in tow.

The next morning, BAT came in excited and asked me to go out to the car. There, sitting on the dashboard, was the missing grey kitten. I ran inside to grab the black kitten, affectionately named Mr. T, and put her in the car as if to indicate, “Hey, they’re cool, don’t worry.” Well grey kitty was not having it and started to climb into the steering column, which is apparently where she was hiding when we were in the Walmart parking lot and driving home the night before. I felt so bad – we had to pull her out by her tail.

Eventually, she grew to love us, but always stayed a little skittish, earning her the name Merdok, from the hit 80’s show “The A Team.” Merdok was the crazy one. While I was earning my business degree, I’d sit on the bed cross legged on my bed to study and she’d curl up in the space between my knees. She’d do typical cat things, like try to catch my feet under the blankets when I was asleep or come snuggle in the middle of the night. Merdok was notorious for her head butts and could catch you off guard at any moment with a painful punch to the face with her head.

She was very affectionate and always purring. I woke up one night to her little motor running and her face about 3 inches from mine, asking to get under the covers because the roommate had forgotten to pay the oil bill and we had no heat. She was a very good girl for all 16 years of her life.


Towards the end, you could tell she was tired. She slept a lot and starting going to the bathroom on laundry, the rug, the couch…. Her eyes were taking on that glazed, cloudy look and despite having a ferocious appetite, she had dwindled to just 4 pounds. After our last night of chicken gluttony, I slept with her on the sofa and turned most of the lights out. She laid right next to my head, as she has always done, and purred. She put her paw on my third eye as I was drifting off to sleep and my brain started to go crazy. It was a very emotional and spiritual moment to share with a cat, and I am still not sure what to make of it.

Moments before we left for the vet the next day, it started to pour. My sweet friend Ebonie agreed to take me, and she stayed with me for most of the vet visit and took pictures that captured my last moments with my old friend. My last minutes were spent telling her how much I loved her and how sorry I was that I had to let her go. I have never had to put a pet down and I wept as they put her into twilight. At that point I saw that she was already gone and I immediately regretted my decision – not because it was the wrong thing to do, but the guilt was overwhelming. My last words to this tiny little creature were “be good,” which are my parting words to the critters when I leave the house every morning for work. I felt it in my soul when the vet techs administered the dose of euthanasia, pronounced her “passed” and quietly hurried from the room.


Grief does weird things to you – It’s exhausting, and the guilt lingered for days and weeks. Leaving the vet’s office with an empty carrier was a true trial in sadness. I cried spontaneously for a few days, overwhelmed with endless stages of grief. I know Merdok was just a cat, but she was so much more than that to me. She was my companion and confidant. She kept every secret I ever whispered in her little ears. She was unconditional and more genuine that a lot of folks I have met. What I have learned from loss is that life goes on. No matter what, the world keeps on turning and you can’t stay down for too long or life will slip on by.


As hard as losing a pet is, I am already looking forward to my next critter. Carlos, my little monster, is in dire need of a new friend, and I like having at least two little souls in my home. Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the death of Mr. T, which was a very hard loss for me. I have also designated today as Carlos’ birthday, so I am reminded that the time for mourning has passed, and I must celebrate instead.


Gandhi once wrote, “Where there is love, there is life.” This is why I keep plants all huddled in the window. I keep them pruned and watered and fed with sunlight, dead leaves, and eggshells. I let the cat chew on them and throw them up. I let life be life. I let life fill my home and my heart because where there is life, there is also love.




Adventure, Employment, I hate cats!, I love cats!

Mattress Emergency


It would seem that the kitties need a babysitter. Since Captain Clam and I have returned to the land of Capitalism, the babies have peed inside of my favorite purse, broken a vase (destroying the plant inside), peed all over my fire escape garden, and destroyed our bed…. and when I say ” destroyed” I mean we had to throw the mattress out because they pissed their hearts out all over it and all of our bedding. Apparently they need a larger litter box for their bathroom pleasure. Jerks.

The romance surrounding a bed is so very important, although the Clam and I have been camping on the floor for a few days (efforting at the passion of being completely uncomfortable and sleeplessly grouchy (makes pitching a tent in the Living Room completely undesirable)) with the intention of taking advantage of Sleepy’s Labor Day Sale (can you believe it’s already Labor Day)? When we went to Sleepy’s, The Mattress Professionals, the Mattress on sale was unbelievably awful.  We sat down on the the floor sample and I am pretty sure that I actually broke it (and ew, I hate sitting on mattresses that are not covered. Like could you please put a sheet on this thing? Raw mattresses just plain gross me the eff out. They are greasy and dirty looking).

So, with the nasty mattress being so cheap and gross and springy, we learned that delivery was still one day away (plus 100 million dollars extra) and Customer’s Own Pick up was, like, One Million Years away. Now, there are a few “furniture” stores in our neighborhood, so we decided to shop around and see what the sales were and maybe even find something right around the corner from the Chateau de Clam. Well, it seems like it’s okay to sell “refurbished” mattresses in NYC, even with the bed bug epidemic (so gross to even think about). We didn’t even look, but there are rumors and I am sure to be overreacting, because I am so totally misunderstood.

So returning home totally disappointed, the Clam and I hunker down for another romantic night of sleeping on the floor. We set up our campsite on the IKEA area rug and gather a small (and I mean small) camping mattress, a yoga mat, a sleeping bag, a fleece blanket, some fabric samples (used to make extra pillows (that just sucked and were not even worth the effort)), pillows, and a crocheted poncho my mom made for me. Now that I am writing this, we seriously need to do more laundry or buy more blankets (how sad we are always playing “catch up!”).

After a few days of mattress turmoil, we realized just how stupid we were for sleeping on the make-shift living room campground. We went to the dollar store and bought a blow up mattress (WHAT IDIOTS!) I heart you dollar store)). I don’t think I have ever slept so soundly on a blow up mattress, and it certainly felt like I had never slept so soundly in my entire life. Sadly, I am still exhausted and my body is aching like a MoFo.

Every night I have to add air to our lovely new mattress (and I totally pretend it’s floating on the lava sea and if my feet hang off or touch the floor then they are total goners) and every morning when my handsome Clam rolls off of our new temporary bed and desperately stumbles to his feet (he’s 6’2), my body seeps to the floor and I am reminded of how awful it was to camp out inside. I am sorry to have waited so long to remember that blow up mattresses even existed. Silly Goose on my part!

The plus side to this debacle is that now we have a blow up mattress, which means that we can have grown up sleepovers, that is if the cats don’t sabotage our new accessory. I have clipped their nails in anticipation for the uprising. We are now in defense mode and holding the opposition at bay…. for now…


For your viewing pleasure…


I hate cats!, I love cats!

Cats: 10 Things to Love & Hate

I love cats. It’s true. I don’t even try to hide it. If I had endless piles of money I’d buy cat themed clothes and a basket for my bike and ride around with hundreds of kittens piled in there. It’s an awesome dream to have.



Growing up, my parents were dog people. We had a cat in our backyard once, but it showed up covered in shit one day. After that, my dad was mysteriously allergic to cats. Now that all us kids are out of the house, they have two cats and are grossly attached to them. It’s awesome!


My dad sans allergies and his two babes, Callie and Mimi.

We have four cats. If you ask either of us, we have too many. Captain Clam would say we have three too many and I’d say we have one too many. All in all, Wee is the favorite because he is lazy and doesn’t do anything bad (or good). He just hangs out and snuggles, with an occasional Murrp or a good dry heave. He is a permanent fixture on my feet at night and a big fat lazy lump for the majority of the day. Sometimes he gets going at full speed and runs all over the apartment, raising hell and getting his cardio on. That is very rare. He’s 10.


Wee dreaming about belly rubs.

Merdok is the mysterious one who is very shy and weird. She’s  an introvert who is completely misunderstood. And she’s funny looking. She’s 11.


Totally Misunderstood.

Mr. T. is a bitch and gives a mean Stink Eye. She’s all black (even her toenails) and definitely has magical powers. Yes, she is a girl with a boys name. Please get over it. She and Merdok are sisters from the same litter and are both a little crazy. She’s 11.


Using her Stink Eye to cast a spell on you…

Squirrel is an asshole (but he’s so damn cute!). You can find out more info about him in my previous post Things That Don’t Mix So Good. He’s 2.


Plotting, as usual.

So, now that you have been introduced to my “kittens,” on with the show… Cats are awesome, but they’re not for everyone. Some people are dog people, and some are cat people. Some people are BOTH dog and cat people… talk about conflict!

It’s ironic, when I started writing this post, I thought I could list a million reasons why I love cats, and even thought I’d struggle to come up with 10 cat behaviors that I hate. It was the opposite! I actually had a hard time (although I do feel put on the spot and picked up one too many hairballs this week as well as the disaster that I will call “7:20 this morning”). I love cats though! But found it easier to come up with things I didn’t like. Damn, I just might be a pessimist after all (Or Captain Clam’s anti-cat stance is rubbing off on me. NOOO!!!)!

So, here we are in no particular order…


1. Cats are SO SOFT!

Oh my Goodness, I love the feel of a good, clean coat on my face or my feet. And they always (usually) smell so good. It’s like a baby bottom covered in mink! Meow!

2. Cats are Natural Hunters

The only time I have ever seen a mouse or a roach in my apartment, it has been dead. Squirrel will even eat bugs because they are so delicious. He likes to run around chasing flies, pouncing and flying around the place like he’s superman! And as a reward, he gets a crunchy piece of protein! YUM!

3. Cats are Curious 

These little buggers always have me laughing. They want to know what every little noise is, or what kind of food I am rustling up and if it’s for them or not (and can they please have some anyway). They want to know what’s going on in the fish tank, and why their reflections can’t be caught. They are even super curious about their tails! Silly cats! They also like to hide in boxes and bags and all squooshed up inside and under things. I am gushing at how cute they are!

4. Cats are Independent

These little jobless orphans can fend for themselves. They don’t actually “need” you. It’s YOU who has to earn THEIR respect. They could really give two shits about how your day went. And if they do care, it’s because they want something or perhaps they do genuinely love you and want you to be happy. I like to think the latter part of that statement is true. All they need from you is to be fed, watered, and have their potty’s cleaned. A little petting from time to time will do. Self righteous bastards!

5. Cats are Ninjas

I once saw Mr. T. jump from the floor to the top of the refrigerator. That was awesome.

6. Cats are Ridiculously Smart

Squirrel can open doors.  See WHAT I HATE ABOUT CATS #8. If a door is completely closed, he will do his best to turn the doorknob, but he’s missing imposable thumbs and has very little patience (unless he’s chasing a fly)! I have been trying to teach him to turn the lights on and off, but he hates me and has no respect for my instruction. I still try.


Look how smart I am. I wear glasses!

7. Cats are the Best Snugglers 

I was gifted a Snuggie for my birthday one year. That thing is a CAT MAGNET! Merdok loves the Snuggie and immediately wipes out into the most comfortable spot she can find.  Mr. T. is addicted to sleeping on it, and claws at it methodically, turning around a million times until she can settle in comfortably. When I don’t sleep with it, I wake up and she is sleeping on my head. Some nights, if I ignore her, she claws at my hair, making a nest, until I put and arm over her to keep her warm. What a little bitch.


This snuggie belongs to ME-OW!

8. Cats are Adventurous

How they do love adventure! Whether it’s exploring the deep depths of the closet, or popping four paws onto the fire escape (and ending up on the roof), these little babies love to explore. Wee likes to go out into the hallway and run up the stairs. I usually find him crying one floor up waiting at the door of the apartment that would be ours if he were on the correct floor. Silly goose!

9. Cats Get High

Just say NO to catnip? I don’t think so. All I have to do is shake the container and they all come running for their little piece of heaven. Mr. T. and Merdok like to eat it off their own backs, while Wee likes to roll in it. Squirrel will wait and then find a pile and eat it. Then He and Wee battle to the death. Then they throw up and I send them off to rehab.

10. Cats Purr

This trait is probably the most satisfying. Nothing says I Love You like a warm cuddle and that methodic, comforting hum. prrrrrr……


1. Cats Scratch and Destroy Everything in Sight

I can seriously do without the scratching and overall destruction of any and all upholstered property. Even the box spring to my bed is destroyed. It’s not like these little bums are out working to pay for the damages. Plus, they completely ignore the scratching post that I spent 20 bucks on. This is why I can’t have anything nice!

Just this morning I was feeling all cozy and sleepy and I suddenly hear all sorts of crashing and smashing and frantic little feet. I get up and see that Squirrel has gone nuts and thrown the keyboard and mouse on the floor and managed to knock over the biggest plant in the apartment. There is dirt everywhere and the plant is all but destroyed, and Merdok is investigating and getting ready to pee in the pile of soil! So, I spray her with a water bottle (they LOVE that!) and get to cleaning up. I sweep the mess, and grab the vacuum. I wonder if 7:20 am is too early to vacuum… I do it anyway (since it’ll be quick). The vacuum belt breaks. Yay!


In another 7:20am disaster, Squirrel smashed this tank on the floor and ate half of our fish, Bert Reynolds. RIP.

2. Cats Poop and Pee Way Too Much

Cats come potty trained. Both a blessing and a curse, it’s just plain gross to clean up piss and shit that is not my own. Captain Clam and I are always at odds on exactly whose turn it is to do the litter box. And with four cats, that’s a lot of excrement. Squirrel likes to be the first to go in there and refuses to cover his turds up. So as soon as the box is so fresh and so clean, he ruins it for everyone. Then there is the problem of litter being tracked everywhere. From time to time I find a kernel in my bed. Gross!

I wish I could teach them to go in the toilet. I had a girlfriend who was trying to train her cats to use the bathroom, but she forgot about it in the middle of the night and peed in the toilet training litter pan. Bah! Have you ever peed in a litter box? I have, and it’s not pretty.

3. Cats Put their Asshole in (and sometimes ON) your Face

It’s a sign that “they like you.” Oh yeah? Not cool! The best way to get them to move is to blow on it. They don’t seem to like that. I was once cat sitting for my parents. Mimi, their big huge cat, LOVES me. She loves me so much that when I was sleeping she actually went to sleep on my chest with her asshole resting directly on my cheek. Like, there was asshole to cheek contact! My boyfriend at the time didn’t do anything…. except take pictures. He is now an ex. In hindsight, that was pretty funny, and I’m sure I would have done the same thing.

4. Cats Vomit Constantly

At least twice a week I am cleaning up vomit. Whether or not it’s food from a sour belly or a gross hairball that looks like a doo doo log or remnants of a plant that I used to have, it is a constant reminder that cats can’t digest their own hair or copius amounts of food or plant material (although they can digest popped balloons and hair ties and little pieces of shrimp that they steal off my plate when I’m not looking).

5. Cats Can Lick Their Own Butts

Why are you licking your asshole on my bed? And cleaning your toes? Ew. That is one talent that I am not jealous of!

6. Cats are Mega-Hairy

I can’t even begin to describe the amount of hair that four cats generate. I sweep at least once a week, and the pile that accumulates is unbelievable. You’d think that I have never swept a day in my life. Plus, it falls everywhere. I literally have to move every piece of furniture to get the little hair bunnies behind them. I have opted to using the vacuum hose, it’s a little less work and tortures the little bastards (and now that my vacuum is broken, the hose is my only option).

7.  Cats are Selfish

They have no problem waking you up at 4am crying for no damn reason. They truly believe that everything belongs to them. Like, my bed, or the pile of clothing ready for laundry. Or the clean clothes that I just took out of the dryer and am busy folding and organizing. They also like to sit in front of the computer or lay across my laptop when I am blog storming. There is a cat crawling over my shoulder right now, crying in the ear. Why? I don’t think she even knows why.

Oh good, and now she’s back on the bed, resting on my pillow, licking her asshole. Nice.


Oh, this warm laundry must be for us to sleep on.

8. Cats are Secret Agents

What a bad attitude some cats have. I mean- the nerve! I am constantly getting the stink eye, being watched and followed. Captain Clam and I seriously can’t go to the bathroom without being followed, and usually harassed. Squirrel will bust the door down just to see what is going on in the bathroom, demanding belly rubs. Wee will come in to see what’s up, scratch around on the little rug in there, and then be on his way. Mr. T. will come in, cry a little, pretend like she’s going to get close enough for a head rub, change her mind and leave. Um, can I just go to the bathroom in peace? We all know how YOU feel when I watch YOU go to the bathroom. Shame Shame Shame!


I hate it when my human watches me poop.

9. Cats are Scaredy Cats

Captain Clam and I had house guests for a week. Squirrel spent the entire time hiding in the bathtub. Merdok hid in the closet. Mr. T. hid in plain sight, under a lamp, collecting dust. They would alternate hiding spots all week, even though no one really cared that they existed. They are scared of the doorbell, the vacuum, the toilet flushing, thunder, sneezing and coughing, people, and especially babies (like a baby is scary!).


OMG! Do you think that terrifying baby can see me?

10. Cats Eat Anything

Especially plants. The nice ones (bamboo especially). Even the ones on the fire escape. As if marigold leaves are just plain delicious! Wee likes to eat cobwebs and the cambric fabric underneath the chairs. Like, seriously? What the hell is wrong with you? Does that even taste good? There is nothing they will not eat, except mozzarella cheese. They don’t seem to like that (it’s ok, more for me!).

Click HERE to see Mr. T. eating a plant!  

So there we have it. I feel bad because it looks like I hate cats when I actually love them. I think the pros outweigh the cons for me, so it makes sense to be in love with a selfish, narcissistic, neurotic, lazy ball of plant destroying fur. Sadly, even some of the things I hate about cats I actually also love about them, too. Like, it’s kinda cute to find Squirrel hiding in the bathtub, although the amount of hair clogging the drain is unreasonable (but he’s a jerk and I’m certain he does that on purpose). I can do without the asshole licking in your face thing though. That’s just plain gross.

So, to Mr. T., Wee, Merdok, and even Squirrel, I love you.