Bah, Cats.


Growing up I had two cats. There was Jake, the refined rescue from the SPCA, that looked as if he was wearing a tuxedo and acted more like James Bond than a cat. He preferred the company of my mother, most likely because she was not going to dress him up in doll clothes and subject him to tea parties. Gizmoe, the short-haired Turkish Van that was larger than a full-grown male Basset hound, was my playmate. No matter how many diets we out him on, that cat was always the fattest cat you have ever seen. He was my companion, and hogged most of my twin bed every night while I slept. We also had a beautiful Sheltie named Halo, but she was resolutely my brother's dog. 

Gizmoe was a saint. He put up with all of my shenanigans, from playing beauty salon (the blue sidewalk chalk that I had used to color his fur nearly gave my mom a heart attack) to pretending he was my diaper-wearing baby, he would just calmly go along with nearly every scenario I threw at him. He never bit me, and rarely did he scratch me--and when he did, I knew that I had gone too far and deserved his anger. 

This wonderful childhood experience had led me to believe that I was a cat person. I was always very active in the care and training of our dog, and I have always absolutely adored dogs. Despite my love for dogs of all breeds and sizes, I was convinced that I was a cat person. So when I bought my condo, knowing full well that I was no longer living with anyone allergic to them, I got two kittens.  Very quickly I realized that there is a large difference between kittens and adult cats. Also very quickly I began to realize that, while cats entertain me to no end, I don't particularly like them. 

At first, I thought that it was because they were kittens. Then, as they started to grow, I blamed it on the, being orange cats and naturally crazy. Last fall I gave one of them to a friend of mine because the two of them were just too much. "One is easier", everyone was telling me. "With one, they calm down and are less trouble." 

Thanks for lying to me, jerks. 

One cat has not gotten easier. Cheaper, yes, because I happened to give away the one that ate 10lbs of food in a week, but in no way has it gotten easier. 

I still don't sleep, because she always wants attention. She destroys everything that she can get her paws on, and even the collars and room sprays that are supposed to help calm her don't work. She has toys galore, but she would much prefer pulling my books off of my shelves and breaking my snow globes to keep her entertained. 

I cannot comprehend how one cat can produce so much bodily waste, and I cannot keep up with the kitty litter--some days I have to clean it morning and night just to keep it from smelling up my condo. I have tried every kind of door neutralizer, cleaner, air freshener, and box deodorizer that I can get my hands on, and none of them have done even a satisfactory job. 

It turns out that I am also allergic to her, although I'm sure anyone would be stuffed up when a cat attempts to sleep on their face at night. Her saliva makes me itchy, I cannot handle the amount of cat hair that is EVERYWHERE (even with me vacuuming daily), and I can barely breathe when I'm at home. And I'm only mildly allergic to her--poor B can't spend more than a few minutes in my place before he has to leave--his throat will start bleeding if he is around cats too long--and I have to change my clothes as soon as I get to his house so that I don't spread the dander there too. 

I do love Gilford, don't get me wrong. She can be sweet as pie, and some days I really enjoy curling up on the couch with her and watching TV. The happiness that she brings to my daughter makes my heart swell...althought that could also be an allergic reaction to the dander. But those moments are not enough for me. 

It has taken two long, frustrating years, but I feel very confident in saying that I am not a cat person in the slightest. 

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Judgement Day is Upon Me, or The Story of How I Ended Up Reading 50 Shades of Grey

I'm going to blame it on my flu-addled brain, because I refuse to contemplate any alternative. 

Last Thursday I got dressed and made the 45 minute drive from Boyfriend's house to work, stopping three times to puke along the way. Each hot flash, with it's accompanying pool of sweat, was followed by intense bouts of cold. Not the "oh, the A/C is too high" kind of cold; no, this was the "I'm standing naked in the Arctic, my teeth are chattering and my lips are turning blue" cold. 

Boyfriend was smart; he just stayed in bed sick after a long night of being flu-y. He was also smart enough to bring his laptop home with him the day before, while I left mine at work to avoid the inevitable whining over how ridiculously large and heavy it is. From the moment that I put my pants on, I knew that I would end up grabbing the damn thing and immediately returning to that wonderful king-sized bed for a day of sleep. 

Upon arriving at the office I made the executive decision to brush my teeth because ugh; this is a decision that I would come to regret immediately. Lesson learned: the flavor of Crest activates my gag reflex when sick. I stumbled to my desk, fell into my chair, and held on for dear life. The spins are the very worst part of being sick.

It was at this point when I wondered if driving home would actually be the best choice; I work in a hotel, for Pete's sake {sidebar: who is Pete?}. I was moments away from convincing my boss to let me borrow a room until check-in when my phone rang. I scooped up my computer, jammed it into my bag, and walked into my bosses office to announce my leave. 

I sat in my car with my head in my hands for a good ten minutes before I became the master of those damn spins and felt like I could safely navigate home. I knew that I needed Gravol as soon as possible, so I stopped at my mom's house on the way. Moms make everything better, right? 

Well, she tried. She gave me a book that I've been waiting to read (win!), and naturally I left with about six Tupperware containers of leftovers and healthy foods (slightly mean since I couldn't keep anything down, but in the end win because yum fresh fruit), but she had no Gravol. I sighed, and accepted that I would just have to stop at the drug store as well. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, I just can't quit you. It's one of those stores that I should never visit unsupervised or while carrying a debit or credit card. My arms were loaded down with lemon and ginger tea (that didn't actually settle my stomach and tasted horrible), the new Cosmo (because I accidentally bought last month's issue on Tuesday), arrowroot cookies (what? They help my tummy!), fast-acting Gravol (my sickness savior), and NeoCitron for my pounding headache. Somehow, lost in that haul of goodies, was a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. 

I will admit that I have been reading Lorraine's amazing (and snarky) chapter-by-chapter recaps of the horribleness of this book. I knew that I would be cringing and yelling at the book constantly, yet a small part of me was curious. Surely she was exaggerating about murmurs and incongruent descriptions of facial expressions for the sake of comedy? How could a book sell an infinite number of copies and actually be that bad?

Well, ok. I've read the Twilight series, so I knew that a book could be written by a fourth grader and still sell millions of copies. But surely the world wouldn't allow this to happen for a second time? My poor sleep-deprived, flu-stricken brain rationalized faster than I thought possible (or, more likely, just didn't think about it at all) and allowed me to pick it up. 

Lovelies, I was so very wrong. So very, very naive. 

When I read Twilight, the run-on sentences and four-page long descriptions of Edward's facial expression (Coles Notes: it's blank, entirely perfect, and he has beautiful hazel eyes) would transform me into a crazy woman. This time I wanted to be proactive and avoid as much rage as possible, so I planned to keep a highlighter and a pen nearby--the idea being that I could make corrections as I went. Somehow, this makes more sense to me than to just not read a poorly-written book

Guys, the first hundred pages are basically all pink or otherwise written on. 

this was me throughout the book

Because a John Cleese/Monty Python gif is always appropriate. Also I've been hoarding this for weeks since I found it and needed an excuse to use it. Maybe subconsciously this is why I bought the damn book? 

As if buying the book, and then actually starting to read it, wasn't enough to kill any self-respect that I had, I've found that I cannot put the godforsaken thing down. I crawled into bed last night at a reasonable ten o'clock, only to tear my eyes away from it at one in the morning. ONE. 

In my very professional, I-took-Psych 101-so-I'm-a-therapist opinion, this is similar to the weird fascination that we have we driving slowly past a car accident or watching Teen Mom. It's horrible, and we hate ourselves for it, yet we continue to subject ourselves to it. 

The lowest point of this whole experience was asking my co-worker if I can borrow book two. What, at least I don't have to pay for it!

What's the very worst book that you've ever read?