Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Judgy Wudgy Was a Bear

This last week put me in mind of a scene from Sex and the City:

Carrie: Do I judge?
Stanford: We all judge. It's our hobby. Some people do arts and crafts, we judge.

Later on, when Carrie did sort of judge, Stanford smiled and said “Judgy Wudgy was a bear.”

We do all judge.  The show Crazy Talk is on the air for the sole reason of allowing civilians to judge and make fun of people on reality TV shows. I catch myself sometimes momentarily taken aback by some patron's outfit at the library, wondering if he or she actually looked in the mirror that morning and decided, yes, this is a suitable outfit to wear out and about in public. Sometimes I imagine someone making finger guns at the mirror and saying “Looking good, tiger!”

I cringed the day one lady came in with spandex leggings very obviously a size too small with no panty line visible, but definitely a few other lines visible.

There is one lady that comes into the library who is super nice but does her liquid black eyeliner so thick that she resembles a raccoon. I just want to pull her aside and offer her a couple of free lessons on proper makeup application. But honestly, what business is it of mine and who's asking me to be the makeup police? Maybe she likes it that way. I am not an expert and I definitely don't have the right to give unsolicited advice to someone about what I deem proper application.  And people aren't walking around, applying makeup, or dressing to please me.  My opinion doesn't matter.

Judging is alive and well and all around us, and we are all guilty of it. We all think we know best, but the truth is we only know best for ourselves. We think because certain things are right for us then they must be right for others too. It isn't so much fun, however, when it's directed at us.  We get judged constantly by people who don't know the whole story and it's easy to forget there is always another side.  Take for example the woman who came completely unglued upon walking into the Children's Library and seeing a mess of toys and books strewn across the floor.  We had just finished two story times, but to her eyes we just left the library a mess and didn't bother to pick up.  She then proceeded to complain about everything and everyone, raising such Cain that this drama went on for two days until she was able to talk to the director and squawk her displeasure to him. She reduced one of us to tears and the rest of us to homicidal thoughts, and she even took it to the commissioners.  Interestingly, her story seemed to change every time she spoke to a higher authority figure, her perception changing with each telling, that eventually the whole ordeal turned into such a shit storm it no longer resembled the original complaint.  She refused to see the library's side of things: we had finished two story times, a huge group of children had just left, we are short staffed, and only one person was working and hadn't had time to clean everything up again.  She walked into the Children's Library, made the snap judgment that it is always a mess just because that's what she saw, and she made the snap judgment of not liking one of staff members and therefore started a crusade to get him fired.  And once again, there are two sides to every story.  We judge her as a miserable nightmare coming to upend our workplace when she might be going through some seriously bad shit and the library was her last straw.  Just because she didn't handle it well, doesn't mean that she's a terrible person at her core.  This tends to be the case with most scenarios like this.  Walk a mile in someone else's shoes and all that.

I've found an overwhelming interest lately in who I am dating by complete strangers or the very basic of acquaintances.  I can never seem to make the right choices based on who other people seem to think I should be or shouldn't be dating.   I'm too young for the Cowboy, too old for August and apparently not good enough for Mr. White Knight, and should I have the nerve to even consider dating someone not from around here, well, they are too far away and long distance relationships just never work.  Everyone has an opinion, solicited or unsolicited, and no one is shy about sharing it even if they don't have a fraction of the facts.  Mr. White Knight may very well be too good for me, but the people making this assumption know nothing about me or the way I live my life.  Besides, he's a big boy who can make his own decisions, and if he wants to keep asking me out I'm going to keep saying yes.  It might sway a few wagging tongues to know that the Cowboy saved my life a few times at the height of my emotional breakdowns, age difference or no.  Sometimes he was the only thing standing between me and a complete meltdown.  And August was a fluke.  I don't generally date men that young, but I decided not to judge a book by it's cover and I gave him a shot.  And I'm glad I did.

It seems so much easier to judge on the spot than it does to give the benefit of the doubt.  We require very little information about a person and their situation in order to pass judgment that we feel are solid beliefs whether we have all the facts or not. Animals tend to reserve judgment until they know someone better.  This is why dogs sniff each other and people all over before getting too invested in a relationship.  This is why cats sit at a distance and glare at new people before making the decision to meet them.  The only thing animals want to know is can one hold their own around them and can they earn the animal's respect.  That takes time.  If one does not earn the animal's respect than the judgment is quick and harsh.  Animals don't judge on clothes, a goofy hairdo, whether someone smokes or drinks too much, if they eat Snickers bars for breakfast, or forget to do their Pilates.  Animals judge on energy.  I definitely drive my animals nuts when I'm at the height of an anxiety attack.  My animals do best around calm, self-assured people.  They judge me on whatever energy I put out too.  Tess goes stir crazy when I'm nervous or unsure about a situation.  She feeds on my energy.  I tend to still get nervous around Mr. White Knight (probably because I'm not good enough for him, ha ha) and I think my dog gets confused between feeling calm around him and his placid nature, and feeling like a nervous wreck because I'm so twitchy.  Puckett judges me when I'm judging myself.  Really, I probably just project my judgments of myself on those big green eyeballs staring at me.  Sometimes I think my harshest judge is me and Puckett is my mirror.  Percy and Willow actually don't judge at all.  They are too self-absorbed to care too much about what other people think or feel.

It all comes down to compassion again.  We can judge each other or we can just acknowledge that life is hard all around and we all have smoldering embers to walk across.  This goes for politics where everyone is squawking either Team Clinton or Team Trump, declaring that one or the other is the devil.  This goes for religions where the same scenario comes into play.  Not all Christians are Bible-thumping, intolerant assholes.  Not all Muslims are intolerant terrorists.  No one person has only one side.  We are all made up of facets, we all struggle, and we all have bad days.

We all judge, but we can all be part of the solution by consciously making an effort to judge and criticize less.  I'm not saying that the jerk who ran a red light and nearly T-boned someone is in the right.  I'm just saying we may find we are a lot happier when we aren't worrying so much about what everyone else is doing.

My pets mind their own damn business most of the time and they are thrilled.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Perfect Man, the Perfect Beast

Percy may actually be the perfect man.

True, he is the smelliest, stinkiest, nastiest little cat ever to grace Wyoming with his presence, but then most men I've met tend to have some kind of an odor issue.  Let's face it, males are just smellier.  This is why male dogs scent mark, male cats eject their anal sacs on things, and most male humans are stinkier when they sweat (creative tip: apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are actually very good at fending off the stinkies under the arms), or do anything else which I will not mention here.

Percy is a good little man, though.  I compare him to Sergio, Agent Emily Prentiss' cat on Criminal Minds.  When she finally got tired of being alone with no male prospects, she adopted a little black cat that she described as "a love," and that's Percy.  He might stink sometimes, but he does bathe religiously, he keeps himself up with constant exercise, and he eats healthy.  He also doesn't come home torn to shreds after a long night of caterwauling and fighting other toms.  He stays in every night and cuddles with me on the bed.   Percy is extremely emotionally available.  Out of all the emotionally unavailable bozos I've dragged home over the years, I can honestly say that Percy wears his heart on his sleeve. He just gives it away for free.

Percy chose me at the animal shelter.  I had my criteria: black, female, youngish but not a kitten. Percy made the final choice, and when he did, I didn't even worry about the fact that he is a male. I don't have anything against male animals in general, but in the past I just never cared to own them. Male dogs can be super disgusting, raising their legs to pee on everything, eating their own poop, rolling in dead stuff.  I'm not saying female dogs never do this (Tess does raise her leg to mark things like she is some kind of alpha male), but the male dogs I've owned have been worse about it than the females.  They also roam.  My first shepherd rolled in dead stuff as well as deer poop and garbage. If he got loose, he didn't come home for hours.  Once he ate an entire dead animal and barfed it up all over the floor in our foyer.  My mother went to the bathroom and got sick herself, and I had to clean it up.  I think the mentality there was that I already worked at an animal shelter shoveling shit, so why not clean up dead animal too? It was so disgusting, it took an hour, two plastic bags, and a whole roll of paper towels.  Tess, in contrast, has never eaten anything dead, she doesn't roll in stuff, and the most disgusting thing she does is bring her poop up onto the porch when I've let a week go by without cleaning the yard.  That's just her way of letting me know that the yard is getting nasty and it's time to clean it.  So really, her one nasty habit is actually a way of keeping things clean.

Percy is all things gross and more, and had he not chosen me at the animal shelter I probably wouldn't have adopted him.  That was then and this is now.  I no longer have an aversion to owning male animals.  I've met several over the years I would have adopted - Woodrow comes to mind if he's ever available - had I not already burdened myself with the Needy Quartet from Hell.  Percy remains the one and only male in my house.  He has outlasted all boyfriends and has proven to be better company than most of them.  He is handsome and he knows it.  I abhor narcissism in men, but in a cat it's pretty cute. I have always gravitated towards black animals, especially black cats.  I have wanted one for years.  Percy is a particularly good looking black cat.  He resembles a small black panther and he has beautiful green eyes.  His coat always shines and one can see his muscles moving through the fur.  His little fangs are still my favorite feature on him.  They give him a sabertoothed tiger look.  He actually looks quite fearsome until one pets him, and then he's just one big lovebug.  Percy prefers a night of cuddling and watching TV over running around town.  He always eats what is put in front of him. He never criticizes, though he does talk back sometimes.  We've had a few morning arguments where he squalls loudly, I yell shut up, and then he goes "Mrmph, mraow, mrrfff..."

Almost like he's telling me to fuck off.

But then, what relationship would be complete without mini spats?  We are always cuddling again ten minutes later.  He has the loudest motor of any cat and his favorite thing to do when I have him in my arms is to stare around the room, then fling his head backwards and rub the top of it against my chin.  He's very dramatic about it too, like he's flaunting the fact that I am his human.  When I first got Percy, it was just him and Tess and he would often get up on the couch with me while I watched a movie and curl lengthwise against my body, almost like spooning.  He doesn't do this so much anymore since he's too busy bullying Willow, wrestling with Puckett, or annoying Tess, but he still likes to get on the bed and be my snuggle bunny.  He also sits next to me on the couch while I eat my lunch.  He doesn't get into my lunch because sharing food with Percy is a bad idea given his Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but he keeps me company while I eat.

As cute and cuddly as he is, Percy is still a man.  He still makes a mess in the bathroom.  He still has stinky moments.  He has some nasty gas, bad enough on occasion to roust the dog from the room, and he has a habit of leaving stuff lying around on the floor, either his toys, or some random object of mine that he's deemed his new toy.  The equivalent to leaving socks lying around, I suppose.  He doesn't help with the dishes or the vacuuming.  He prefers to create the mess that needs vacuuming.  He does, however, like to be vacuumed.  When I get the vacuum out, the other two cats flee, Tess barks and runs into the backyard, and Percy emerges from wherever he was sitting and sits by the vacuum cleaner ready to have his tail sucked up.

Percy is not a jealous kitty.  He has enough love to go around for everyone, though he is happiest as the center of attention.  He might not bring me breakfast in bed, but he does like to snuggle on weekend mornings while I have my coffee and read a book.  There have been many a snowy Sunday that Percy and I have spent all morning in bed watching Netflix.  I can't say this for any of my ex boyfriends.  They would leap out of bed first thing in the morning and rush off to work or whatever, anything more interesting than me. At least Percy likes to spend time with me.

The other night I left a pretty great party to walk home by myself after a night of dancing with some very eligible bachelors.  Most of the time I prefer just going out with my girlfriends, dancing with everyone, and not gathering any phone numbers or looking to pick up any more potential dates.  Sometimes Cinderella doesn't care about the Prince, she just wants to dance until the carriage turns into a pumpkin and she has to walk home.  I didn't mind any of this.  I wasn't looking for a new Prince Charming, I didn't need a ride home (as I do prefer to walk sometimes), and I definitely didn't need a one night stand to take home for temporary company in my bed.  I was, however, feeling a bit overemotional though.  That night two of my very good friends found each other again.  They'd been over for a year, I thought she was gone for good, and had had a few conversations with him confirming this.  My delight was evident upon seeing her again, and seeing her with him.  They belong together and I've always felt that about them, even when he insisted that they were completely over.  So why was I being so overemotional?  Because it's nice to see true love find its way back even when everything looks completely hopeless.  I don't have anyone like that yet.  The guy I thought was the love of my life is someone I would never welcome reappearing on my doorstep after a year or more of separation.  Most likely I'd call the police if he did try that.  I don't have any long lost love I would be thrilled to reconnect with.  It was just one of those nights, I think, where I realized how alone I am and I was feeling it keenly.  I think we all feel that way at times, triggered by something as simple as a word or a glance or anything else entirely innocent.

But I did get home to my little man who was anxious to see me and purring up a storm when I walked through the door with tears still on my cheeks.  True, he was hungry and that was the main reason for his attention, but as I picked him up and snuggled him, I was glad for at least one man in my life who is always there, who keeps the bed warm and gives amazing cuddles, and who, despite his few faults, is still the most perfect little male.  I love my boy, and just like Agent Prentiss, if some crazy hit man from my past ever comes gunning for me, I'm okay with leaving everything in my apartment behind, but I will be packing him (and the other animals) into the kitty carrier and taking him with me, no mater what.

People have offered to take Percy off my hands, but there is no way I'll ever part with him. Out of all my pets he's considered the "cool one" by others.  I never thought one of my crazy little beasts would be so coveted by other people, but it does put things in perspective. People may not envy much else about me, but they do envy me my cat.

At least he chose me.

Percy likes to play Hide and Seek

He also appreciates Victoria's Secret

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kissing Frogs to get to the Prince

I'm going to take a break from the pets this week and focus on a different kind of animal:


You heard me.

For one thing, the pets are not very interesting.  It's been too hot to hike so Tess hangs out on the front porch panting, or else she flops in her tub of water.  Puckett spends her days sacked out on the bed, snoozing.  When she's not doing that, she's yakking on the floor because she eats too fast.  Willow hangs out by the open back door in between stuffing her face and clawing me every time I try to brush the mats out of her.  Even Percy is subdued.  He lies around on the floor a lot, completely stretched out on his side, looking dead.  I poke him sometimes to make sure he's still alive and get the "shitty look."  When he's not doing that, he's having his usual Irritable Bowel Syndrome and leaving nastiness on the floor.  For the most part, the little darlings are asleep in a patch of sunlight.

Meanwhile I have never had so many interesting experiences as when I joined Match.com and Zoosk. This was at the recommendation of my therapist and Evan Marc Katz who swears the more one dates, the more likely she is to find a "sensible partner."  Not "the One," mind you.  He doesn't believe in "the One," just someone a gal can spend her life with without wanting to kill him on a daily basis.  I guess in other words, someone who doesn't make a gal want to throw up every time she sees him naked.  Thanks, Evan.

Not a glowing endorsement of marriage I suppose.  My notions might be way too romantic.  I come from a couple who, at seventy-something, still make people sick.  The way they met should be a black and white movie starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.  My mom sort of looked like Ingrid Bergman when she was younger.  My parents met on a train.  My dad is a train fanatic.  They sat opposite each other and my dad kept peeking over his newspaper to watch my mom in the reflection of the mirror.  Eventually he struck up a conversation.  When they both got off the train he asked for her number.  Then he lost her number, but he remembered where she worked so he looked the number up in the directory and called her at work to ask her out.

They've been married over forty years.  Serendipity?  I think so.  The train was a nice touch.

My romantic history consists of an abusive asshole; a sociopath; a drug-dealing felon; an emotionally constipated ranch cowboy; several flings; a twenty-three-year old dork who is going to be really awesome when he grows up; and a commitment-phobic Cowboy who adores me, does everything for me, but refuses to settle down in an actual relationship.  Those are the highlights. I know I've made bad choices in men. I own that. Sometimes I wonder if I'm relationship material at all since I seem to have trouble finding someone who wants to have a relationship with me.

As per the book:  They are just not that into me.

I own my part in why my relationships don't work out and have been taking steps to change things. For instance, not putting up with bad behavior and walking away when some jerk starts treating me badly. After some of my escapades, however, I cannot help but think that the bad behavior out there outweighs the good.  I have met some lovely men online, and after a couple of dates or even one date, it was clear there was no connection or chemistry and we parted ways respectfully.  I have to say most of the men I went on a first date with have been pretty nice and respectful.  I have no complaint of these men. The ones that amaze me are the ones I don't even go out with.  There's the guy who sent me one email that merely said "Hey, sexy!"  I know every woman on these sites gets that one and I just wonder.  What kind of a guy thinks it's a good idea to send out multiple "Hey, sexy!" messages to random girls just to see who will respond?  What is he trying to accomplish?  Obviously this guy is not looking for quality.  Or even a real woman.

One profile showed up in my matches starting with "Experienced dom looking for new sub."  It then proceeded to explain just how experienced of a dom he was and what exactly he was looking for in a sub.  There are sites out there for that kind of thing, specific BDSM dating sites geared towards that kind of an interest.  If one is cruising Match, they are probably not going to have a whole lot of luck finding someone willing to be a "sub."  This person has a specific lifestyle and is interested in finding someone with the same tastes.  He'll have more luck on a BDSM site, and I'm still not sure what it was in my profile that prompted Match to think it was a great idea to throw him into my "Daily Matches."  Maybe I just come across as a masochist because I'm online dating?  Or just dating in general?

I was highly entertained by the guy who emailed me a few times, then asked for my number so he could ask me out.  He was close enough that there was absolutely no reason we couldn't meet for coffee in an afternoon.  He texted a few times.  Then he sent me the ever-popular "So you have any more pictures?"

Nope.  No, I do not.  If the pictures on my profile are not good enough for you, I don't know what else you want from me other than nudes, and that's not going to happen.  I have several recent head shots, a couple full body pictures in cute outfits, and I am smiling in all of them. Everything I present in my profile is the truth.  I'm not lying about my weight, my height, or even my age.

I just don't understand why a man would text a woman he has never met, asking for more pictures when she's already posted several perfectly good ones on her profile. I get that he might be worried that I don't look like I've presented myself, but at the same time, we are close enough to meet.  So if coffee doesn't go well, that's why it's coffee. It lasts an hour and then we part ways. I can even pay for my own coffee if a guy is that worried about having to spend an hour with someone who doesn't live up to his visual standards.  I was not disappointed when he never contacted me again.

There's a guy I was sort of seeing in town who's been a friend of mine for awhile.  Boy, is he a fart in a skillet.  We had a few drinks one night. He texted me every day for a week.  Then he asked me to dinner so I went to his house and he cooked dinner.  I thought we had a good time. Haven't heard from him since, and he's supposed to be a friend of mine.  That's fine, he probably decided he wasn't that interested after all, but here's my beef with that one.  First of all we've been friends long enough. One would think he'd have figured that out sooner, and he could have just told me he's lost interest too.  Second of all, it seems like these guys can't get enough of me for a week, and then they just lose interest.  Or they work and work and work to get my interest, and as soon as I start falling for them or get a little interested, they run like a pregnant racehorse who needs to pee.  I'm beginning to think these guys really want is the chase. If I actually agree to go out with them it's no longer fun.

I met this beautiful man online who's profile was as well-written as mine.  He was handsome, nerdy, referenced Pride and Prejudice and the Princess Bride, and the title of his profile was "Knight Looking for Queen."  That should have been my first red flag, but I fell for it.  I liked his profile, he emailed me, and we texted for about a day all about comic books and superheroes and geeky stuff like that.  Then he disappeared, just stopped texting.  My crime?  He sent me a picture of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a chain around his neck. I said while I love Spike, I don't care for the bondage thing.  His last two texts were extremely short and curt and that was the end of that. Apparently there was more than one dom looking for a new sub.  At least the first guy was upfront about it.

The texting thing drives me insane.  I will connect with someone on the site, exchange a few emails, and they will ask me for my number. I figure, okay, let's talk on the phone and meet.  No sense in wasting more of each others' time if it turns out we don't like each other.  But, no.  They want to text. And text.  And text!  All day long.  All night long.  Just constant back and forth bullshit conversation that gets boring and old really fast.  Why would someone invest so much time texting someone they haven't met yet?  Why go through that?  Also, don't these men have jobs?  Who the hell has time to text constantly all day long?  I mean, I work for a living.  I'm culpable too, as occasionally I fall into the trap myself and instead of cutting these guys off, I indulge their text-apaloozas.  I need to get better at setting boundaries.  They can send me a text along the lines of " Hi, it's __________ from _________" and "Is now a good time to talk? Can I call you?'  That's it.  Anything else makes me think he is a thirteen-year-old girl.

On that note there is yet another one who texts me every couple of days and the conversation goes like this every time:

Him: Hi.

Me: Hello.

Him: How are you?

Me: I'm fine.  How are you?

Him: Good.

Crickets afterwards.  For God's sake, ask me out or leave me alone. He lives in my town!  I need to scrape up the balls to say this.  I'm being too nice and once again indulging bad behavior.

To be fair the twenty-three-year-old texted me for four months before I finally got sick of it and told him one night that I was going to see the Minions movie the next day and he was welcome to join me. He asked if it was a date.  I said maybe, or maybe all my friends are lame and backed out.  He replied to that with a wink and "It's a date."  I asked him later if he was ever going to get around to asking me out had I not suggested meeting at the movie, and he told me that sometimes a guy doesn't know if a girl will say yes when he asks her out.  I will allow for being twenty-three here.  I told him for future reference, if a girl spends four months replying to a dude's texts, chances are she will say yes.  However, it is the dude's job to grow a pair, sack up, and actually ask.  The chances of a girl saying "Yes" go way down the longer he fiddle -faddles around.

Speaking of texting, I had one who is, what my girlfriend likes to call, a stage-five clinger.  He had trouble understanding boundaries.  We'd never met, but for awhile he was texting me things that a boyfriend would text.  He kept saying stuff like how after we meet and have been together awhile we'll have this amazing relationship and he was sure we'd have beautiful babies together.  Then he pushed for us to meet while I was in his city, visiting another girlfriend.  I told him that I was with my friends for a weekend of shopping and martinis and girl time, it had been planned for awhile, and I was not going to ditch  my girls just to meet him.  I'm too nice, I should have just cut off contact.  He kept pushing just for an hour, just to meet, he could meet us at the mall and my girls could go disappear in a store for awhile.

Uh, no.

He continued to text me throughout the weekend which I ignored.  Then he said something about being willing to drive us around as our DD.  I politely thanked him and said I would be driving.  What finally put me over the edge was a text that said "I hope you had a good day, sexy."  And I lost my shit.  I texted him back with  "We have never met so please don't call me that."  Instead of apologizing, he justified his behavior with "Oh, wow.  I was just giving you a compliment.  I didn't realize it would upset you."  The proper response to that would have been a respectful "I'm sorry."  I finally told him to buzz off.

I met another guy for coffee who, it turns out, works with the drug-dealing Felon's mother at the same high school.  He was a lovely man, I enjoyed talking to him, but I think he probably just couldn't after hearing that I dated the drug-dealing Felon.  He recalled a young man with naked women tattooed all over his forearms and probably immediately changed his opinion of me.  I haven't heard from him since coffee.  That was probably my fault.  But then, I just couldn't either when I imagined a conversation he might have with the Felon's mother:

Him: I'm dating this pretty librarian in the next town over. Her name is Anita!

Drug Dealing Felon's Mom: Oh, yes, my son used to date her!

Him: Um....really?  Your son with the naked ladies tattooed on his forearms?

Better we know now to avoid the awkwardness.

I dated a guy last summer.  He was an old friend, and a good one, or so I thought.  I spent a weekend with him, riding on the back of his brand new Harley, hanging out with his friends, boating on the lake, drinking, watching fireworks.  He asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend.  I wasn't sure if he was kidding.  Not to get too x-rated, but I'm here to tell you he was not worth the wait when we finally got together. It was definitely him and not me, as I had a girlfriend tell me later that I was not the first girl to report his very bad performance. He pretty much ghosted me after that, and then I found out that he'd professed his love to someone else two weeks after that weekend, proclaiming that she was "it."  Turns out she wasn't "it" as that relationship lasted two months before she apparently ran screaming for her life. She probably heard the reports.  I'm thinking he's just a chronic player and our friendship didn't mean as much to him as it did to me. 

My favorite one is still Mr. White Knight, the suitor who got between me and the rattlesnake a few weeks ago. He gets it. True, he moves slower than molasses, but honestly, this isn't a bad thing. He takes me on actual dates, calls or texts between dates to let me know he's thinking about me, and actually holds a conversation.  He may be shy, but he still has confidence so he's not fiddle-faddling around, using shyness as an excuse to be a pussy.  He's very gentlemanly.  He hasn't tried to get in my pants.  He's not bombarding my day with constant text messages because he actually has a job and a life.  This is a rare man.  He is a mythical figure.  Not only that, he's very handsome and has an absolutely lovely smile.  I'm so used to going on a first date, clicking with someone, and then having them all over me for two weeks before flaming out and disappearing, that I'm not quite sure what to do with this one.   I appreciate him because in a sea of complete bozos, this one gives me hope that there are still respectable, decent men with manners out there.  They are few and far between, but they're out there.  They are even nearby and believe me, I've had moments where I wondered if every man in the area has gross emotional problems.

I'm not saying he is "the One" (Evan would snort at me) or that he is my Prince Charming among the frogs.  I'm not jumping the gun here, as I have finally learned that taking one's time yields better results. And of course the difficulty in dating goes both ways. I have wondered why Mr. White Knight is still single given his looks and personality, but it has occurred to me that women probably behave just as badly on these sites as the men do. They can be completely nuts. I have a couple of guy friends with a few stories that made me ashamed of my own sex.  Among them are the lady in the primary relationship looking for a secondary willing to tie her up; the lady who gets off on asphyxiation; and the rather disturbed woman who wanted to dabble in bestiality with my friend's pet pig (I shudder to think of what she had in store for the cows and the pet sheep).  I'd say keep that gal away from Percy.

It's bad enough when a guy sends a woman he has never met a dick pic with "You like?" as the caption, but I think the gal with the porker fetish might top the list of bad behavior.  Or maybe just really deranged behavior.

Kind of makes me wonder: Who are the real animals here? The dogs and cats, or the humans?

Every little girl with an unrequited crush

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I Have to Go to the Potty!

I am so over these litter box wars.

I have never seen so much drama involved when using the bathroom as I have seen with my three cats.  If I put on such a theatrical every time I had to pee, I'd be exhausted.  I could write a whole new musical about cats: CATS: To Potty or not to Potty?

Bathroom drama doesn't stop at the litter boxes.  When I'm in the bathroom, either to take a shower, do my makeup, shave my legs, or use the toilet, there is always at least one cat in there with me.  It's usually Percy, though Tess has an interest in watching me apply makeup before a night out on the town.  I don't know if that's because she knows makeup symbolizes my leaving the house for an evening, or if she's just fascinated that I'm in the bathroom for so long.  Tess takes very little time eliminating.  She pees and poops as quickly as possible so she can go back to chasing bugs and watching the cars go by outside.

Percy has an unhealthy obsession with water.  His favorite thing to do in the bathroom is get in the shower with me.  If his head gets wet, then he freaks out and yowls like it's my fault.  He's fallen in the tub before and gotten soaked.  He also likes to sit on the toilet.  I have to keep the toilet lid down because Tess will drink out of the toilet and Percy will sit on the seat and paw at the water.  Percy has also taken to stretching out behind the toilet on really hot days.  I guess it's cool back there.

Puckett treats the bathroom the same way she treats the litter boxes: as quickly as possible because she doesn't want anyone to know she does disgraceful things.  The only time she spends a longer amount of time in the bathroom is in the mornings when I'm taking care of business and she feels the need to rub against my legs and weave between my ankles.  This is merely to remind me that it's breakfast time and I'm wasting precious minutes on the pot when she could be eating.

Lately, the little darlings have gotten more finicky and pissy about their litter box situation.  I have four litter boxes, none of which appear to be good enough for Their Majesties.  Willow, as mentioned before and frequently, doesn't even bother with the box unless I lock her in her cage for awhile.  She has her own litter box in her cage, another litter box underneath the cage, and she still manages to pee on the floor on a daily basis.  In the last week I've noticed that not only is Willow peeing on the floor, but Puckett is too.  Puckett isn't as blatantly rebellious about it as Willow, though.  Willow does it because Percy bullies her whenever she gets out of the box, going so far as to attack her and knock her to the ground as soon as she gets out of the box.  I would develop a toilet aversion too if I had some jerk knocking me out every time I flushed.  He tried it with Puckett once and she trounced him so bad he never bothered her again, but Willow is small, spazzy, and has no self-esteem.  I protect her as much as I can.  Particularly on weekends, I have noticed that Willow will go up to the box under the cage to poop, and no matter where Percy is in the house, he will come running and lie down at the foot of the steps, waiting for her.  I then remove him from the foot of the steps and hang on to him until Willow finishes her business and takes off.

This pisses Percy off like nobody's business, as if I have single-handedly ruined his entire weekend  by not allowing him to beat up on a tiny cat doing her business in a box he never touches.

The little asshole.

Puckett is more discreet.  The only reason I figured out that Puckett was also peeing on the floor was because I discovered puddles the next morning when the night before, after putting Willow in her cage, I was certain there was nothing.  I keep plastic litter traps on the floor outside the litter boxes downstairs where Percy and Puckett go.  The litter boxes are of regular litter box size with lids.  Besides leaving puddles on the litter traps, I have also witnessed Puckett squeeze herself into one of the litter boxes and then hang her considerable booty out of the opening, accidentally pooping on the floor.

At first I couldn't figure out what would make Puckett pee on the floor.  She has never done that.  That's Willow's little trick.  Puckett isn't sick, she hasn't been declawed, she has no bladder infection or urinary tract infection (these are all causes for litter box aversion).  Percy definitely isn't picking on her.  If nothing else, she beats him to a pulp every day when they have their daily kitty rumble.

It turns out that kitty's got back.

Puckett no longer fits in the litter box.  I suddenly had an epiphany the other day, thinking what if Puckett just cannot comfortably situate herself in the box anymore and peeing outside of the box is easier for her? After all she's not finding a completely new place to pee.  She's not soaking the carpet like Willow did before I pulled that out.  She's peeing right next to the litter box, as close to it as she can without actually going in it.  So I went to Petco, bought two boxes twice the size of the old ones minus the lids, extra litter, and litter freshener.  I washed all the boxes out and put the smaller ones aside, then filled the new boxes and put them in the potty area. 

Then I held my breath.  Cats are so finicky about litter boxes.  Some cats won't use it at all if there is even an ounce of waste in it.  Other cats get really pissed off if the box gets moved a centimeter to the left, let alone replaced by a whole new box.

Percy was horrified at first.  He approached the new boxes, sniffed them all over, then sat a few feet away and stared at them.  Then he stared at me.  Then he walked back over to the boxes, sniffed them again, put one paw in, and quickly yanked it back out.  He returned to a few feet away and glared at the boxes.  I tried to cajole him over to the box and show him how amazing it was, but he was having none of it, so I went back upstairs to do something else, leaving him alone and hoping he would get into it when he really had to go.

An hour later both boxes were full. Then I watched Puckett get into one of them, circle once, scratch the litter, and do her business before streaking out of the box at top speed like she usually does.

Success!  There have been no more accidents, and even Willow's been using the box the last two days.  I switched her small box with one of the bigger ones under the cage and disposed of all the lids.  Apparently, kitties don't like lids.  It makes them feel like they are trapped in a Port-a-Potty.  Percy's habit of attacking Willow probably makes her feel like the person who gets trapped in a Port-a-Potty by some jokers who then tip the Port-a-Potty over as an extra joke.

I guess I'd pee on the floor too rather than go in a Port-a-Potty where someone can humiliate me.

I'm beginning to think it would be a lot easier to just train these guys to use the toilet, but with three cats and one toilet, this may not be a feasible solution either.  First of all, the only one I think might actually be okay with learning to use the toilet is Percy.  Puckett doesn't balance well and Willow is such a spaz I can just see her falling right in.  She's the only one who could fit in the bowl too.  Percy would probably then proceed to flush it.  Second of all, every time I'd have to use the bathroom, a cat would be sitting on the toilet, newspaper in paws, giving me that snotty look, like "It'll be a minute!"

On the plus side, Puckett does seem a lot less stressed.  She's been in a pretty rotten mood lately, and I wonder if that's because she's been forced to pee outside of the box, something she deems completely disgraceful and beneath her.  Things like behaving in a way other than queenly do cause anxiety for her.  Since the "Great Box Switcheroo," she's been purring, rubbing against me, seeking me out for affection, sleeping on the bed.  Kitty's happy now and I guess I understand it.  I know I'm a lot happier too when my bathroom rituals run smoothly and comfortably.