Hello, My Name is Gustav Mustachio

MEOOOOOOOOOW.
MEOW MEOW MEOW MROOW PURR PURR MEOW MAO MEOOOOW MEW MEW MAOOO.
PURR PURR BITE NIP LICK MEOW MEOW MEW PURR PURR PURRRRR BITE.
MEOW MAO MEW MROW MROW MRO…….

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Ahhh-ahem. Cough cough cough. Meow. Testing, meow 1; testing, meow 2.
Please pardon me for all that. I forget you humans don’t speak Catish, and my English translation skills (just my typing skills, really) are a bit rusty.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gustav Mustachio, and I am the latest triumph in my owner Sara’s quest for Crazy Cat Ladydom. Enjoy this picture of my charmingly handsome face, taken at the shelter where I was rescued from.

Clearly this face is irresistible.

Clearly I’m irresistible.

QUICK BIO
Name: 
Gustav Mustachio
Age: 8 to 12 months (new family estimates about nine months)
Rescued From: Oklahoma Humane Society Adoption Center, 7500 N. Western Ave. Oklahoma City, 73116
Previous History: Unknown

In the week two weeks (this post was delayed by my new mom getting violently ill and then Thanksgiving) since I’ve come to my new home, I’ve been busy teaching my new family all about me, and I’m now going to share some of those fun facts with you. I’m going to let my new slave, uh, I mean, owner take it from here. My dainty little paws just get too tired of this typing nonsense.

10 THINGS MY NEW FAMILY HAS LEARNED 

1. He is the chillest cat in the entire world. He has settled without pause (or should I say PAWS, amirite people?!) into his new home, as if he’d lived here his entire life. He was not the slightest bit fazed by a new house, four new people, or a new cat. He was simply not concerned. He apparently just took a look around and decided, eh, this will do.

Gustav the Pooh

2. He is the smoothest little operator you’ll ever meet. Let me just say that we were DETERMINED to get a little kitten. We were hoping around two-three months at most. But when my dad and I took my mom and sister up to meet him, he came to greet us, and when I sat down on the floor, he climbed into my lap and kept curling closer, before putting the finishing touch on it by putting his paw over my arm so I couldn’t let him go. He took one look at me and knew I was an easy mark, and he had me suckered in about five minutes later.

I’m pretty sure Gus is Thomas O’Malley in real life.

3. Gustav is a huge, fat fraud. He is not, in fact, chill and cuddly. He is actually insane. For two days, he just sprawled on the loveseat and slept, apparently charging his batteries to go on a crazy spree. Don’t try to hold him, he meows stridently and thrashes to be put down. God, I sure can pick cats.

I’ve seen this look on Gustav’s face.

4. Gustav loves to sprint around the house meowing and chasing his new brother, Finn. Especially in the dead of night, when mommy is TRYING TO SLEEP.

5. HE. IS. A. BOTTOMLESS. PIT. (I’m almost 98.5% certain that little Gustav’s giant belly just hovers on the verge of exploding at any given moment.)

“Wet food, dry food, people food– it doesn’t matter. It’s also irrelevant if I just ate all the food you gave me AND the food you gave Finn, if you’re having a bowl of cereal, I need that, too. Then I need some Whiskas if you’re in the kitchen. It’s all mine and I want it ALL.” — Gustav
Well, except kitty treats, of course. In a stunningly ironic turn of events, Gus is not the slightest bit interested in cat treats.

6. Gustav just LOVES to climb on counters!!!

7. When he does sleep, he loves to do so in the weirdest possible positions.

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FAAAAABULOUS!

FAAAAABULOUS!

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Silly human, I am not interested in such petty concerns as gravity.

Silly human, I am not interested in such petty concerns as gravity.

8. His new brother, Finn, was very skeptical of him at first, but Gus is winning him over.

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After all, I make a great body pillow.

After all, I make a great body pillow.

Just a fun note: Gustav is also obsessed with sleeping in my closet. He’ll spend hours sleeping on my shoes hidden behind my hangups– just like my love life.

9. Gustav Mustachio is quite a mouthful, so he has been dubbed “Gus-Gus.”

Gus-Gus-GIF

Yep, after this one. They have similar attitudes about food.

10. Gus-Gus is obsessed with the outdoors, and determined to go outside any chance he can. We even took him outside when it was snowing here and tried to dissuade him, but apparently Gus looks upon the frigid, frozen wasteland of winter and says, Get me some of that!! We are starting him on a harness to possibly take him on walks eventually.

Hoping for this…

As opposed to this.

Finn is the freeze up and refuse to move type on a leash. Gus-Gus walked around on the porch with the harness on–awkwardly, but he was moving! Hopefully we can pursue this path with him and lead to a minefield of comic gold for the blog, uh, I mean, a happy and healthy way of indulging Gus and his interest in outside!

So there you have it, friends, a quick outline of our first two weeks with our new kitty. I feel like I learn something new about him every day, and he really is a joy. It’s very bittersweet, because it makes me miss my Boo baby so very much, but at the same time, we’re letting another kitty into our hearts and it makes me happy. It seems like Gus-Gus has always been here with us because he’s insinuated himself into our lives so seamlessly. I hope you’ll come along with us as we welcome this new member into our family!

BONUS FACT:
Gus-Gus likes to photo-bomb.
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Here I am innocently trying to take a pic for a recent post on my bargain fashion blog and BOOM– cat butt. So naturally I had to stop and take some pics with my new kitty.

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If you haven’t before, please, please, PLEASE go check out my bargain fashion blog and follow me there too!

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Boo

It’s two in the morning, and as I have so often lately, I am finding it very hard to sleep.
Today’s post, let me just warn you, is not funny. There’s no gifs or memes or silly jokes. Today’s post is about one of the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life. If you are one of those people who thinks pets are just animals, who don’t really have souls or real thoughts or connections with people, then I would like to politely ask that you stop here. This post is not for you, and I hope you will respect how hard this is for me and keep all that to yourself.
Now, if you have ever read my blog at all, you know I am a dedicated, passionate crazy cat lady. The reason I became a crazy cat lady, is because for sixteen years, I have had the best, most perfect cat anyone could ever ask for. From the time I was six when we first brought him home, my cat Boo-Boo has been my baby, my best friend, and the love of my life. He has been the sweetest, most loving cat imaginable, and we have long been inseparable. To be honest, I can’t even remember my life before Boo; there were actually very few of my total years on this earth that I spent without him, so that’s probably not surprising. In both the very lowest and the very best times of my life, he has been there for me– to cry on, to laugh at, to dance around,  to spoil, to tease, to cuddle, to nap with, to watch tv with, to read books with, to tell about soccer and boys and my friends and family and my dreams and my favorite foods and how much I hated math and how one day I was going to hold him in my wedding dress and take the cutest cat lady pictures imaginable.
Boo has been perhaps the most constant thing in my entire life; he has been wholly mine, in a way that other people can never truly be, because they have goals and dreams and aspirations separate from every other person. We all share and yet are divided by that inescapable, unbridgeable, alien quality where we can never, ever truly know one another totally and understand each other perfectly. But my cat– his only aspirations have ever been to eat, sleep, and love and be loved in return. I understood and connected with him better than almost any other person I have ever met, and what has been amazing me lately to think about is the blatantly obvious but still astonishing fact that we accomplished this without him ever saying word. I mean, of course cats don’t talk, but think about trying to becomes friends with or fall in love with someone who never, ever says a single word to you in 16 years. That’s one of the best, most mystical parts about pets, I think– you build a closer relationship with them than with most people you know, without them saying a thing.
But one of the hardest, most terrible things about pets is this- they are going to break your heart. Unless you die freakishly young, or have a pet at the very end of your life, almost without fail, you’re going to lose your pet long before you die. When I was six years old, and we brought two scared little kittens home, I didn’t really understand this lesson. All I knew was that one of my nana’s cats had kittens, and then got hit by a car when they were still very small. One kitten, a girl, went to a nice family, but we still had two little boy kittens left. One of the kittens was white, with a big black spot right over his face, so I dubbed him Patch. You might be wondering where a slightly strange name like Boo-Boo came from, and let me just state right now– my mom came up with that one. It came about because when he was a little kitten (so long ago I can’t even really remember what he looked like as a kitten) he had such big eyes that he looked scared all the time, like someone was trying to frighten him. Thus, came Boo-Boo. (I repeat, my mom thought this up, not me.)
One night, while we were all having dinner at my nana’s, a lady rang the doorbell, and produced the two kittens, who she had found in the busy street my nana lived on. It was decided the kittens could not stay there. So we took them to our house, where my dad sternly told us they were to stay a week at the most while we found homes for them. As the months passed, it was finally accepted that home was with us.
Funnily enough, Boo did not start out as my kitty. His very crazed brother, Patch, was my cat, and Boo was my sister Rachel’s. A year after we got them, however, Patch simply slipped out of the house one day and never came back. My sister, who has always been more of a dog person and was a little tired of having her own cat, “graciously” allowed me to have Boo for my own. I never looked back.
When he was about six, and I was about twelve, Boo became very, very sick. He was going to the bathroom all over the house, and there was blood in his litter. Terrified, we took him to the vet, who informed us that his urinary tract had formed crystals, and he needed a very expensive surgery to even have a chance at surviving, if he even was able to survive the very dangerous, risky surgery. I don’t know where my parents got the money, but my mother has always loved Boo as much as I do, and there was never a question that we wouldn’t get him the surgery. He was sick for months and months; my mom and I had to force feed him watery, wet cat food from a syringe. He stayed at the vet for weeks. I had their number memorized, and I called every day to see if I could take him home yet. Everyone eventually knew who I was, and they were all so kind to me. Amazingly, he made it through the surgery, and little by little he got better. Finally, one day, I was allowed to take my baby kitty home.
As often happens, nearly losing him made me even closer to Boo.  I can remember spending hours playing this silly game I made up, where I would sit in my entryway and bounce a little bouncy ball against the walls while he chased it, and I awarded him points for different things. Boo has always loved laser pointers, and I was such a little punk I used to make him chase it around in a circle until he would get dizzy and fall over, and I would laugh and laugh because his fat tummy would be swinging around everywhere. I went through a phase where I couldn’t go to sleep without the tv being on and I refused to sleep anywhere but on the couch, and Boo slept with me.
At one point, Boo escaped off our back porch somehow, and I thought he was lost forever, just like his brother. I was completely broken-hearted. But the next day, we suddenly heard meowing at the back door. Boo had come slinking back, completely beat up but alive, and knowing where his home was. He never tried to leave again after that.
When I started middle school, completely terrified and desperately trying to get used to the change, I leaned on my kitty. I was worried about meeting new people and making new friends, and I was so upset because I was no longer “popular.” At the sixth grade Valentine’s dance, however, I was crowned “Duchess of Hearts.” They gave a me a plastic crown and a pink teddy bear. I came home in triumph and took a picture in my fancy dress and hair and makeup, holding my fat kitty in my arms as he looked terribly irritated.
When we got a puppy and moved into our new house around seventh or eighth grade, I was worried Boo might get upset, but he took the move with aplomb, and ignored the puppy with regal disdain. When I randomly decided I wanted a bird, the intense hatred between Boo and Pete the Parakeet was legendary. Boo, who was by far too fat and lazy to ever successfully launch any sort of attack on Pete, would sit patiently for hours, his tail twitching as he hungrily watched Pete, who hopped around and chirped as loudly as possible to taunt him. When Pete– who was already a very old bird when we got him from a family who couldn’t take him when they moved– died after a year, Boo mourned with me (though not, I think, for the same reasons).
Like most of humankind, I was a moody, restless teenager. Sometimes I felt so restless it was like I was going to explode out of my skin if I couldn’t do something. When things got really bad, Boo would always somehow know, and come curl up next to me. When I was devastated about something that happened in soccer, or when a guy I liked didn’t like me back, or I was mad at my parents or my sister, I would cry my eyes out about it on Boo’s fur, and he never minded. When I discovered that I wanted to be a writer, and spent hours writing bad stories and angsty poetry on the desktop in our dining room, Boo would come and sit on the computer tower. It was warm, and I always put my feet on it and he would snuggle up to them. It was always so funny because he was so fat that he kind of just melted over the sides, but he always seemed so content.
When my sister graduated high school and went away to college, I remember laying in our room together and turning my back to her and just crying the night before she left for school for the first time. After she went to sleep, I came out into the living room and just held my Boo kitty. I was convinced my sister was going to forget about me, but I was soothed by the knowledge that my Boo never would. The four years she was gone were incredibly difficult for me, because she was my best friend. I became ever closer to Boo in that time, because he filled in for her to some degree.
When I was in high school, we got this floor heater that looked like a fake mini fireplace, and whenever it got cold I would spend hours just laying in front of it with my feet propped up on the tiny grate, and Boo would sprawl out beside me to roast his fat little tummy. My senior year I finally got my license and could drive myself to school in the mornings. I would wake up just a little bit after everyone else had already left, and I would sit in front of the heater and Boo and I would share a bowl of cereal, every single morning. Sometimes I would be late to class, just because I would be so perfectly happy in those moments that I couldn’t make myself leave.
When, to my utter excitement, my prom nights came around, we laughingly recreated the pictures from the Valentine’s dance in sixth grade, with me holding my grumpy kitty upside down in my arms in my prom dress.
My grandma died on Christmas Eve my junior year of high school. My dad woke me up to tell me, then we sat on my bed and cried together. My heart was breaking doubly seeing my dad really cry for the first time ever. The rest of the day I just carried Boo around with me, holding him tight.
I don’t remember exactly when I started sleeping in the living room at my house, but I’ve been doing it for a few years now. I told my family I was just too old to share a room with my sister anymore, but the truth? I just wanted to be able to sleep with Boo cuddled up next to me. And as he started getting older, I admit that I spent more nights than I can count crying on his fur and imagining what it would be like if I lost him. But he always was in such great health, just a fat, happy little kitty who loved his family.
My family talked a few times about getting another kitten, but the very idea made me angry. What could we possibly need another kitten for when we already had the best cat in the world? When I went away to college, someone suggested that Boo might get lonely since I would be gone and enjoy another cat’s company, but I scorned that idea. The first month I was at school, I usually cried before I fell asleep because I missed my sweet little boy curled up next to me. I never stayed a weekend at school the entire four years I was in college, and if I am being completely honest, it’s because I couldn’t stand to be away from my baby that long.
My sophomore year, however, in May right after we gotten out of school, we went to Ross to go shopping on Mother’s Day. My dad and I decided to walk next door to Petsmart, just to look at the cats for adoption. I took one look at Finn, and I was a goner. I just knew I had to have him. His eyes were such a bright green, and he had little black tufts of fur on the tips of his ears, and the most adorable little snaggletooth. My mom stringently objected, especially since Finn was no little kitten for Boo to get used to. But I simply knew he was meant to be my cat, and to my shock I found myself with another cat. It was a very confusing experience; I honestly felt like I was cheating on Boo. And Boo’s reaction ended up being the worst case scenario.
I can’t blame him; he’d been the only cat in our family (and the only real inside pet) for fourteen years. I’m not even sure Boo knew he was a cat, so the shock of another one must have been crazy. Then, we went away on vacation for a week and left them alone together.
Boo just stopped eating.
I don’t know how to convey to you how alarming that was. Boo has always been a very fat cat, because he just adores eating more than almost anything. He began wasting away, and the only thing that kept him alive was us force feeding three times a day. My mother drove him to the vets almost every morning so they could give him fluid from an IV. It was one of the darkest points in my life; my cat was slowly starving himself to death, and it was entirely my fault for bringing some stupid new cat home. I was dying of guilt as I was watching my baby dying. At the same time we were running all these tests, trying to make sure that there wasn’t something wrong with him, some illness or disease doing this to him. He wasn’t interested in anything anymore, and my heart broke to pieces every time he fought me so violently when I tried to feed him, and moved somewhere else anytime I tried to sit with him. For three months I was terrified the love of my life was going to die, and it was going to be entirely my fault.
Finally, the vet gave him some medicine that was supposed to treat depression in cats. A few days later, we were all eating lunch. Boo was over with my dad, whom he spent a lot of time with during those months. Suddenly, my dad says, “He’s eating.” My dad had given Boo a piece of smothered steak, and Boo had decided to live again. I sat down on the floor of my living room and bawled tears of joy. My baby gained back his weight and went back to his normal self, and suddenly he and Finn were the best of friends. Life was right again.
Finn is a very special cat, and he’s kind of insane, in the best way. It was so entertaining to have him around, and I felt reassured again that he was meant to be with us. But there was never any doubt who was my baby, who was the love of my life.
When my papa had to have an outpatient procedure done in July 2012, it went suddenly wrong and he went into a coma. For two days we waited at the hospital while the doctors told our numbed minds that his chances of surviving were very, very slim. And when he passed away, my baby was there for me, letting me cry on him as always.
College was an eye-opening, life-changing experience. I made a fool out of myself so many times; I made mistakes and trusted the wrong people and made new friends and rethought my entire mindset and had my heart broken and basically, just grew up. Every weekend I would come home, though, and no matter what had happened, I would rush through the door and Boo would be waiting there for me, curled up on the loveseat or the couch. I would sit down next to him, and just pet his little purring body, and no matter how awful life had seemed, suddenly it couldn’t possibly as bad as I thought it was. My favorite picture I took the day I graduated college Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 was the one that I took holding my Boo kitty before I left for the graduation ceremony, holding him upside down in my arms in my dress, exactly like I had in sixth grade.
This summer has been the laziest I have ever been in my life, and that’s saying something. But I had graduated college, by god, and I was going to have to work the rest of my life. I had money saved up, and so I basically just took the summer off. I stayed up late writing, and then slept in as late as I wanted. I lazed around, played soccer, read books, and did very little else. I spent this entire summer cuddling with my cats, and blogging about how much I loved them. It was idyllic, and I will be grateful for it for the rest of my life.
Then, about a month and a half ago, I started getting very sick after I ate, and then started having problems with my digestion. I lost my appetite, and I’ve lost like ten pounds because some days I just couldn’t eat. We finally established that I needed to see a specialist. This whole time I’ve been sick, Boo has been there for me. He’s comforted me and loved me and helped me deal with being desperately ill and almost constantly nauseous. A little over a week ago, I was the sickest I had been during the whole duration of this mysterious illness. I was sitting on my bathroom floor crying, because I couldn’t stop dry heaving. Boo just came right into the bathroom and nuzzled up against me, and I picked him up and held him and stopped feeling so sick. He was there for me, as always.
A month or so ago, Boo’s eye started running. We weren’t too concerned about it, because it had happened before. He has always been a very sniffly cat, who had colds regularly, complete with runny nose and sneezing. But one day, his runny nose had a little bit of blood in it. We still weren’t that worried, but didn’t want to take any chances. He was getting older, after all. We took him to the vet, who prescribed him some antibiotics to clear things up. We gave them to him, but it didn’t seem to get better. His nose got a little bloodier, so I took him back. This time, our vet said that it seemed like his face was a little swollen on the right, and she thought something must be blocking the tear ducts that run between his eye and nose, and that’s why his eye was watering. She gave us eyedrops for him. Boo did NOT like those, I can tell you. I started giving them to him regularly, and for a while, it seemed to help. His eye stopped watering for a few days. But then he started sneezing blood. Pure blood. His nose started running blood. We got very worried. Then, late on the Thursday before last, blood started leaking out of his tear ducts into his eyes. Both sides of his nose and eyes started having blood. I panicked, and didn’t sleep at all before rushing him to the vet as soon as they opened. The vet came in, I told her what was happening, and she said, “We need to keep him for x-rays. I’m afraid he might have a tumor.”
I was blind-sided. Utterly blind-sided.
Of course, Boo was an older cat, and I always knew in the back of my mind that cancer was a possibility. But he wasn’t that old, he was only sixteen. Truthfully, I more tortured myself with the idea that he might get so old that the vet would want to put him down, and I didn’t know how I could ever possibly do that. But a tumor? Where did this come from? We’d had him to the vet twice, and they’d said nothing about this. He had seemed perfectly fine, except for the blood, but he never acted like he was in pain or acted any differently. He was his sweet, precious, perfect self, as usual.
In utter shock, I had to face both the idea that he might have a tumor, and the fact that I had to leave him at the vet. What if he got scared? What if he stopped eating? What if the other animals scared him? Numbly, I gave the most precious thing I owned to the vet and got into my car. As soon as I drove away, I started bawling. Ugly, nasty, painful sobs. I hadn’t slept all night, and I hadn’t eaten anything either. That day, I got so sick my family almost took me to the emergency room. Finally late in the afternoon they let Boo come home, saying they hadn’t been able to see anything on the x-rays, and they would need to try and arrange for an MRI on Monday for him to see for sure what we were dealing with.
By five o’clock on Sunday, September 8th, my baby was gone. I can’t talk about what it was like over that weekend; those last few memories with him are both too painful and too precious to try and put into words. I’m still so in shock over it happening that it’s hard for me to really comprehend. His condition deteriorated almost blindingly fast, but I truly don’t think he was really in pain except for the very last few minutes, before that eased. He died curled against my leg, as we had spent so, so many hours together.
We’re not even completely sure what happened, but a vet told us that he suspected that Boo had an advanced tumor that didn’t show any signs until the very end. That’s just like my sweet boy; he managed it so that we didn’t have to agonize over him being sick for more than a couple of days. I held him in my arms for however long; I don’t even know because I wasn’t aware of time passing. All I could think was this was the last time I would ever have to cuddle my baby. We buried him right by our front door, in a flowerbed under the big bay window in the front of our house. The loveseat he loved to lay on is right by the window that looks out over where he’s at. My mom had an old, sturdy drawer for god knows whatever reason. It was the perfect size for him, and we wrapped him in a soft green blanket that was almost the same color as his eyes. Then my dad cut a piece of wood to go over it, and dug the hole for him even though it hurt his back incredibly bad to do it. I put the drawer into the hole, and buried my baby.

I know this post has been too long. I know it’s been ugly and rambling and you might not have even made it this far. I wouldn’t blame you. I’ve always hated reading about animals dying, because it broke my heart thinking about the pets I love dying. But truthfully, this is the flimsiest, most inadequate thing I’ve ever written. Boo gave me sixteen years of devotion. Sixteen years. How do you fit sixteen years of unconditional love into a blog post? I debated about if I would even write anything, because I haven’t even been able to stand the idea. I’ve had to stop so many times as I’ve been writing this, because I couldn’t see through my tears to write. Blogging and this blog seemed so stupid, so pointless since my baby got sick. Since I lost him. How could I possibly put into words the depth of my grief, the measure of my loss? How could I make people understand that he wasn’t just a silly animal, just some cat? And honestly, I don’t know if I managed to make you understand.
But, as he always did, Boo is still giving me things. The first night after I lost him, when I thought I was going to literally lose my mind, it soothed me to lay still and just write down things about him in my head. I just mentally wrote down all my favorite memories of him. I have always hoped that my inclination to write my emotions down meant that I really was suited to be a writer. Losing Boo has convinced me of it, and I have decided I’m going to write an illustrated book about him. I have felt lost, truthfully, since I graduated, and suddenly I have a purpose. Even when he’s gone, my baby is still comforting me.
Maybe this whole post has been a big, ugly mess, but I am fiercely glad I’ve written it. How else to celebrate my baby than sharing just how special he was in the best way I know how? Boo truly was my best friend, and the love of my life. Maybe you think I’m crazy, maybe you think I’m being just a little overdramatic, maybe you think I’m plain ridiculous. But I loved that cat more than almost anything in the entire world. He was a better friend to me than almost any human I’ve ever met, and I shared more with him than almost anybody.
Sixteen years. The majority of my life. From six years old to twenty-two years old. Every important thing that has ever happened to me, and all the stupid, insignificant, pedestrian things, too. He’s been there for all of it. For sixteen years, he was teaching me the most important lesson I think you can ever learn– how to love someone unconditionally. It doesn’t matter how many words I write or which ones they were. There’s simply no way to sum up or convey to someone a relationship that special. So all I can say is, I hope you have someone as good to you as Boo was to me, and then you’ll understand it without a word being spoken.

boo

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22 Things Crazy Cat Ladies Do on Their 22nd Birthdays

As you may or may not know, Thursday, August 22 was a very important day in the world– it was my star birthday. That means I turned 22 on the 22nd. It was a mixed day, with both highs and lows, as most days are, but it was still special and still lovely, and in honor, I am going to share with you an outline of what crazy cat ladies might do on their big day. I’m sure you’re just perishing with anticipation.
Now, I know what you’re thinking– a crazy cat lady on her birthday?! I bet she really gets caaaa-razy!

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Cat hair is lonely people glitter, you know.

Ah, but Readers, read on. The birthday of a crazy cat lady is more glamourous than you would ever guess.

Boots and Cats officially presentsTHINGS CRAZY CAT LADIES DO ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS
Warning: Gratuitous photos of cats ahead.

1. Wake up voluntarily at 8am since you got sick the night before and fell asleep just barely after midnight, voluntarily stay awake, nearly die of shock, and then have a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Literally me as I get up at 8am on my birthday.

2. CAT TIME.

Petting headless cats.

Petting headless cats.

And then resurrecting said headless cat with crazy cat lady magic.

And then resurrecting said headless cat with crazy cat lady magic.

3. Take a cat break to check your phone and brood over the fact that nothing interesting ever happened on your birthday.

What even is a botnet??

What even is a zombie computer? Why is this relevant?

4. Notice your cat sleeping next to you, and decide it’s time for some CAT SELFIEZZZ.

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SO

SO

INCREDIBLY

INCREDIBLY

GLAMOROUSSSS

GLAMOROUSSSS

I don’t know what this means but it’s in a song called Glamorous and she’s holding champagne so I’m going with it.

5. CRY WITH GRATITUDE BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS EVER.

Day = made.

Day = made. (Note the cat lady reference… she knows me so well.)

6. Fall asleep and cat nap until your dad calls you to say he’s on the way home from work and you panickedly jump up and frantically start getting ready.

“MUST PUT MAKEUP ON”

7. Send some Snapchats after you get ready so everyone can see how good you look on your birthday.

Snapchat-5478

8. Have some delicious Thai food for lunch with your dad, and finally order a coconut ice cream with sticky rice WHOLLY FOR YOURSELF.
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YOU DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW DELICIOUS THIS IS.

YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW DELICIOUS THIS IS…

BUT I DID.

BUT I DID.

9. Head to Best Buy to look at Kindles since the screen on your old, basic one broke; realize they don’t sell basic Kindles anymore and you don’t want a new, fancy one so you make your dad go into Petsmart next door so you can look at the KITTIEZZZ.

SO SWEEEEPY

SO SWEEEEPY

THIS KITTEN WAS NAMED MEOWLEXANDER, THIS IS THE BEST CAT NAME EVER.

THIS KITTEN WAS NAMED MEOWLEXANDER, THIS IS THE BEST CAT NAME EVER.

10. Head to Academy so you can get a new soccer ball; get a bonus Blake Griffin OU jersey for $10, and THEN you see a lady in Academy with a live monkey on her shoulder, complete with a little leash and diaper.

Here is a picture of Blake Griffin at OU, because I couldn’t be bothered to take a picture of my soccer ball, my new shirt, or the lady with the monkey. What do you want from me, it’s not like I’m getting paid to do this.

11. Head home and open your present from your sister.
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Just a note, my sister found this card months ago while I was with her, and I told her to buy it anyway.

Immediately after I opened this, my sister told me she needed to use the shaving cream and the soap.

Immediately after I opened this, my sister told me she needed to use the shaving cream and the soap.

12. Hang out with your cat a little more, ensuring that you are properly covered in cat hair.
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13. Take pictures for your bargain fashion blog (feel free to go check out the post).

14. Spend some more quality time with your cat.

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How do other people deal with the fact that they don't have the cutest cat in the world?

How do other people deal with the fact that they don’t have the cutest cat in the world?

HE REALLY IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE GUYS

HE REALLY IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE GUYS

15. Decide to change and then head to Red Lobster for dinner with your fam.

16. Stuff your gullet while pausing occasionally for pictures.

My sissyyy

My sissyyy :)

Nana!!

Nana!!

17. Begin getting very, very ill and desperate to go home.

Can you see it? Can you see that I already am looking a little green and miserable?

Can you see it? Can you see that I already am looking a little green and miserable?

18. Rush home and into the bathroom.

19. End up crying in the shower because you got sick on your birthday.

“IT’S NOT FAAAIR… AND WHERE DID MY HAIR GO???”

20. Collapse pitifully on the couch and be comforted by your cat.

Just a sidenote, my cat is seriously like half my length.

21. Open your present from your mom.

"I'm so siiick, life is so cruuuel, I-- IS THAT AN OWL PURSE?!"

“I’m so siiick, life is so cruuuel, I– IS THAT AN OWL PURSE?!”

22. Count the day a success.

5 Things I Learned Last Night When My Cat Woke Me At 4AM

If you follow my blog regularly, you may know that I am a Crazy Cat Lady, and that I have two cats. The first is Boo, my 16 year old baby I’ve had since the tender age of six. The second is Finn, the insane 2 year old rescue cat I got a little over a year ago. Today’s post stars Finn, who is currently wedged in my lap as I awkwardly try to type around him:

Please excuse my WORST WEBCAMERA EVER.

Please excuse my WORST WEBCAMERA EVER.

I would just like to mention that this is a screaming anomaly; Finn is zealously anti-cuddling except for the few random times when he decides HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH AND HE NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION RIGHT NOW ZOMG. But even during those times, he rarely wants to actually sleep snuggled up to you as closely as possible. Generally he’d rather just rub his face all over your feet because he has some kind of platonic foot fetish (he’s neutered, don’t worry ASPCA!). But since I’ve gotten home from college on Friday, I’ve set up my laptop at my kitchen table and have been spending time writing here. In a bizarre turn of events, Finn has decided that this is the time that he loves me more than he ever has at any other point ever since I adopted him, and he forces himself into my lap and essentially melts onto me in a puddle of sleepy purrs. It’s like as soon as I sit down in that chair, a forcefield suddenly springs up around me and creates a space that has the appearance to Finn of everything he loves best in the world and which is irresistible to him. It’s both insanely adorable and intensely bewildering.
But, as I so often do, I digress. Well, in a way. This story is still about Finn. It’s just not about Finn cuddling in my lap while I write.
Last night I was asleep, snoozing in comfort with my cat Boo curled against my side. Now, don’t judge, but I sleep on the loveseat in the living room whenever I’m home from school. Our house sadly does not have enough bedrooms for our family, and I prefer not to share a room with my 26 year old sister. But to be honest I actually like sleeping in the living room much better; the loveseat is as comfortable as any bed plus no one can complain when I let my cat sleep with me (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, BIG SISTER).  I admittedly had not been asleep very long, and it takes awhile for me to fall into a heavy sleep. So when sudden, swooshing, violent movement occurred, it woke me up. I discovered that this movement was Finn, who had been passed out on top of the loveseat. Something had apparently roused him in a hurry, and he was crouched with his head shoved under a footstool, which was shoved in turn against a box. This is where five new life lessons were added to my repertoire.

1. Finn Literally Has Spider Senses

I haven’t mentioned it before, I think, but I am a raging coward. One of my number one top fears is spiders. The subheading rather gives away what I found Finn trying to attack when I moved the footstool, but I’ll go ahead and say it, for clarity– it was a spider. Somehow, this freak of nature cat went from being dead asleep on the top of our loveseat at least ten feet away to being able to detect the movement of a quarter sized insect on the floor in the dark. Now, there’s been some suggestion of this enhanced talent before; once I was sitting on the couch and there was a Walmart bag nearby, and Finn suddenly showed up and started pawing at it. I discovered there was a tiny bug inside of it. I have no idea where Finn was when he detected its presence. The only conclusion I can come to is that Finn has spider senses that actually tingle when bugs are nearby (like some kind of reverse Spiderman who would go by the superhero name Anti-Spidercat) to the point that they will WAKE HIM FROM A DEAD SLEEP.

2. Do Not Use Airwalk Leopard Moccasins to Kill a Spider

If you know me at all, you know I love leopard. My mother, who fortunately knows me, is well aware of this fact, and kindly bought me a pair of leopard moccasins from a discount store the other day that I love:

Pictured here on some random internet person’s feet, because this is literally the only image of them I could find when I googled them. This makes me wonder if there’s something shady about these shoes…

These shoes were the closest spider-killing-appropriate thing at hand when I lifted up the footstool and discovered a spider crouched behind a lone Sonic straw that had been forgotten under the stool somehow. I gave a first enthusiastic swing at the spider, but he was completely unscathed. So I intelligently moved the straw, and tried again. To my consternation, he seemed completely unaffected. At this point he apparently felt bold enough to scamper into the middle of the carpet and I froze in horror for a second, before giving a very motivated smack at him, ready to dust off my hands in accomplishment. He remained entirely intact, and I began to fear that my worst nightmare had come true and spiders were beginning to evolve to be invincible. Gingerly I put down the leopard moccasin and picked up the next closest shoe, one of my Forever 21 canvas slip ons:

The black one there on the right.

The spider had perched itself right on my rug, which is a confusing wash of patterns and generally dark colors. With the light off, I momentarily lost track of him and swatted, panicked, what amounted to being a small piece of paper. After that, however, I managed to reorient myself and smash the spider to smithereens. So the moral of subheading 2 is this:

!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Be Very Thoughtful of Your Cat Scratcher Purchases and Their Subsequent Orientation in Your Home

Finn loves to scratch, as is normal for most cats. Luckily he is not particularly destructive, and he limits himself to the scratchers we buy him. The latest one is this scratcher from Petsmart:

finn's cat scratcherUnfortunately for both myself and my big toe, this lay in the path between the loveseat and the footstool with the spider hiding under it. Also unfortunately, I was somewhat dazed, it was very dark, and I was afraid Finn was about to be bitten in the face by some sort of poisonous creature, so I therefore neglected to take the time to remember the cat scratcher that always resides in the middle of the living room floor because our cats wear the pants in this family. We bought this scratcher because it was much sturdier than any of the others we’d bought previously. That’s like half an inch of pure, solid wood with a scratchy woven natural fiber top. It probably would’ve been better if I’d come into contact with the fiber part; it at least most likely had some give in it. My big toe and I can report that the wooden part did not. A sub-submoral here: even when you’re pretty sure your big toe has come completely off and you’re convinced that if you look there will be an empty space where it once was, you will generally find, to your shock, that it’s still there when you finally get the courage to glance down. Also, running your toe into a wooden cat scratcher  is not conducive to focus when trying to smash spiders.

4. 16 Year Old Cats Are Generally Not Terribly Interested in Spiders

It does not come as a great surprise that there are often a great deal of differences to be found between a 16 year old cat and a 2 year old cat. Boo’s main pastimes at this age are sleeping, snoring, sleeping, meowing for food, and occasionally wandering into the kitchen and then yowling distressingly because he is deaf and will sometimes feel lost if no one else is in the kitchen and he can’t see anybody from there. Finn’s main pastimes are sprinting insanely from point to point in the house, standing on his hind legs and staring out our bay window as he desperately tries to stalk the birds/bugs in the back yard through a pane of glass, attacking his stockpile of cat toys and his devil scratcher, and sleeping in the most bizarre positions I’ve ever seen. Oh, also, begging for treats from my dad, who is the biggest sucker ever for that cat.
Boo’s spider senses, admittedly scarce even in his prime, have been officially declared extinct after last night. He sat on the loveseat through everything with his little paws crossed , calmly observing the comedy of errors like a king watching his court juggler as he tried to chase down a runaway juggling ball. I would’ve thought he was laughing at me if I hadn’t been his owner for 16 years and already been supremely familiar with his expression of an absolute honey-badger level of not caring. He just looked mildly inquiring, as if to say, Whatever are you doing crawling on the floor? There is a spider down there, you know.
At this point, I’m not sure if I prefer Finn’s hyper awareness of spiders that alerts me so I can turn them into carpet detritus, or Boo’s complete disregard that allows me both to sleep and also ignore the fact that a spider managed to get into my house.

5. Finn Has a Thirst for Spider Blood

This is a metaphorical statement; I don’t know if spiders actually have blood or if they’re really just creepy balls of venom like I suspect. What I did discover is that Finn apparently craves the taste of spider death. After I killed the spider and laid back down, I watched as he proceeded to snoot tensely around the area where the spider was smashed. The whole time he looked slightly disbelieving, as if he couldn’t quite fathom that the spider wasn’t there and I had stolen the sweet thrill of the kill from him. After this went on for a couple of minutes, he went to stare morosely into the trash can where I’d placed the mangled remains of the spider.
He was apparently so shook up by this loss that it led to a couple of false alarms where he would suddenly and urgently leap down from the loveseat and intensely explore  part of the floor. At one point he looked so intent that I felt the need to get up and make sure that the deceased spider didn’t have a partner he’d been tag-teaming his home invasions with. Contemplating it now, I wonder if maybe Finn thought that if he just imagined hard enough, a spider would appear for him to destroy with the all the vengeance and barbarity of a thousand Attila the Huns.

I must admit that this experience was not the most pleasant of my life, but I feel like these are lessons that will serve me well in the future. And if you’re planning on pitying me because this is what I find relevant to my future, just enjoy this BuzzFeed article, charmingly entitled “15 Reasons Why Having A Cat Is Better Than Having A Boyfriend.”  Maybe I’ll suffer a few stubbed toes here and there on cat scratchers, but I guarantee you Finn and Boo look much cuter comforting me than a boyfriend would. To end with, I’ll leave you all with the picture I took this week, which is possibly the best cat picture I’ve ever taken. Enjoy:

My sister pushed Boo onto Finn...and they just stayed that way.

My sister pushed Boo onto Finn…and they just stayed that way.

Ceru, ka drīz atkal tiksimies,
Sara

PS I went with Latvian because someone from Latvia looked at my blog and how cool is that? The official language of Latvia is Lativian (surprising), and the phrase supposedly means “I hope to see you soon again.” Which I thought was appropriate since, you know, I hope to see you soon again on my blog.

TV Romances Suck Lately, and My Cat Has a Celebrity Twin on Glee

Woe is me, Dear Readers.
TV romances have really been letting me down lately. I have chosen to pretend that Glee ended on the episode before the last season finale, because I cannot accept that Finn and Rachel aren’t together. That was literally the only thing I asked of that show. I accepted shenanigan after shenanigan (including the shameful neglect of Rory, the character played by the love of my life, Damian McGinty), suffered heartbreak, and watched many episodes in pain because of how disappointed I was with the way the storyline was going. But I still faithfully watched, every week, knowing that eventually Finn and Rachel would work out their differences and live happily every after with each other, because they are clearly meant for each other. I simply could not accept in my mind what came to pass, and I refuse to watch the travesty of whatever Glee is now. In my mind, Glee ended with them winning nationals, with their lives before them, and knowing Finn and Rachel would be facing whatever came together, making each other better.
Then, you have The Office. I would argue that Jim and Pam are one of the greatest, most sweet TV romances of all time. And now suddenly, this is being threatened by a (admittedly hot) soundman. COME ON, OFFICE. You spend how many seasons making everyone fall in love with Jim because he so clearly is in love with Pam, and then you throw this nonsense at us?! Uh uh. I’m not buying it. SO JUST STOP.
As for Downton Abbey, which I mentioned my love for, I recently accidentally came upon an enormous spoiler for all of Season 3 (I’ve only watched Season 1). If you keep up with it, then you know what revelations I was absolutely blind-sided by. My favorite heroine on that show? Sybil, partly because of her fabulous romance with the hot Irish chauffeur, Branson. My favorite hero? Matthew (obviously). I rooted for him and Mary to be together since they first met. Come to think of it, I said the same thing about Sybil and Branson. So much promise in Season 1 of glorious romance… and then I hear about Season 3. If I’d been watching Downton regularly, I would have been destroyed. I could never have watched TV again; I could’ve never trusted another show. I have accepted I can never watch Downton again.
It’s a sad day when my favorite TV romance is on The Middle, between Sue, an incredibly awkward sophomore in high school, and her brother’s friend, a dumb but loveable senior. It’s painfully awkward, but ridiculously sweet. I actually really like Sue, and she kind of reminds me of Edith from Downton Abbey, who I also admittedly like (though I can never watch her again). In fact, I kind of feel like Sue is a kindred spirit, because she had this conversation with her brother, Axl, on the Valentine’s episode of The Middle (I’m really disappointed because I so wanted to find this as a gif but apparently no one has made one of it yet and I emphatically don’t know how, so I apologize)-

Axl: She’s at a wedding…something you’ll never be in. I suggest buying a wacky hat and starting your cat collection now.
Sue: That’s not even an insult. I love cats!

Well said, Sue. Well said. Speaking of middles, today is actually my half birthday. I know that sounds like a silly thing to notice, but it’s just crazy to me that I’ve already been 21 for six months. I’m already halfway to 22. That’s just bewildering. Tuesday also happened to mark the two months until graduation point. I will graduate college in less than two months now. It seems impossible. I feel like if you’re American, for your whole life, as you’re growing up, there’s just certain events you daydream about and imagine, like turning 16 and getting your license, and  then graduating high school and finally being 18. And then, far off in the hazy future, you wonder what it will be like to be 21 and able to drink, and somewhere even more removed, you think of graduating college and a final cessation of school…. forever (unless you’re one of those crazy schmucks who goes to graduate school, of course [that was a joke]). But, for me at least, the thought of actually being done with school was so far away as to be impossible, truthfully. Yet here I am, almost to that very point… and it still seems unfathomable. I simply can’t picture a life where I’m not expected to be in school, much less get a job. I was actually job-hunting today, googling jobs in Oklahoma for English degrees. Nothing was coming up. The top results were national articles optimistically reassuring the reader that jobs for English majors really do exist! Unfortunately, they don’t seem too plentiful near where I live. It’s somewhat disheartening. To cheer myself up, I started thinking about things I might want when my full birthday rolls around, and my sister made an excellent suggestion- The CatGenie. It’s a self-flushing, self-cleaning litterbox. I feel like it’s the Holy Grail for Crazy Cat Ladies. Changing litterboxes is certainly one of the biggest drawbacks about owning a cat for me. I dream of a future filled with both cats and CatGenies; a blissful, furry, stink-free world. I think Sue would approve.
In other TV ramblings, I just watched the season finale of the show Gold Rush (which sucked). I never cared even the slightest bit about that show, but my dad and sister LOVE it. The thing that finally suckered me in was hearing about Parker Schnabel, a boy who took over running his grandfather’s goldmine when he was SIXTEEN. I was blown away by this; how many sixteen year old boys do you know that would be willing to take on that kind of responsibility?! He’s eighteen now, and I have to admit that I have a huge crush on him. I am beyond impressed with his maturity and intelligence, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s absolutely adorable and clearly loves his grandpa. I try to ignore the fact that this is a cougar crush, which is lamentable. Also lamentable is that it takes a guy who starts running a goldmine at sixteen to impress me, because they’re pretty scarce on the ground, especially in Oklahoma. Even I might be able to acknowledge that standards like those might be a touch too high.
For those of you who have never watched any of the shows I’ve been talking about, or only a couple of them, I apologize fervently. This post has probably been pretty useless so far for you.  I will now share something that doesn’t require you to have watched a TV show regularly, and instead requires only that you watch a two minute video. Hopefully this video will make up for those of you unfamiliar with the show I’ve been rambling about, so reading this doesn’t feel like a complete waste of time. To preface, I have to tell you that for some reason, I find goats to be just inherently hilarious. Just looking at a goat makes me giggle a little. Last year, one of my friends showed me a 7 second video of a goat screaming like a man. I thought it was honestly the funniest thing I’d ever seen. Then, recently, I discovered this video and realized I had been completely wrong. It’s just a compilation of goats screaming like humans (some of them are actually sheep, but I find goats funnier so I choose to ignore that they are sheep). You may be hesitant and think this sounds ridiculous, but do yourself a favor and watch it. It is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t even watch the video if I have to wait for it to load, because I start laughing so hard I don’t even end up being able to see it through the tears. I don’t know if I actually have even seen every actual second of the video; I think there’s still parts I can’t stop laughing long enough to watch.

Well, I feel like this has been one of the most random posts I’ve ever done, so sorry about that. But I’ll share a fun fact to try and loosely tie everything together. I started this post talking about Glee, and I’ll end it that way, like a bizarre, drunken sort of thesis.
Some trivia from my life: my cat, Finn, who I’ve mentioned before, is actually, honest-to-god, named after Finn from Glee. To understand why, you need to see what Finn (aka the actor, Cory Monteith) looks like when he smiles. So for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, observe:

finn (3)

Look at that charming, ridiculously adorable half smile!! I totally fell in love with Finn while watching Glee, largely because of that smile. I have to admit that I really, really love me a crooked, little half-smile (possibly because heroes in novels often have them). But Finn provides a perfect example of one in real-life, human form.
Enter my cat here, who was named Franklin when we adopted him. My mom strongly objected to the name, so we were left trying to find one we could all agree on. It’s not always visible in pictures of him, but Finn (the cat) has a serious snaggletooth. It’s one of the things that made me fall in love with him, too, when I first saw him at Petsmart. It’s very visible in this picture:

2011-12-03_01-37-28_669
It makes for some hilarious pictures of this cat, I tell you, but you’re probably not seeing what this has to do with Finn Hudson’s smile since, you know, he doesn’t have a snaggletooth. But take a look at this picture of Finn (the cat, again):

2011-12-28_15-34-52_376
That’s right, you guys. My cat has a half-smile. It’s pretty much ridiculously adorable. His snagtooth makes his mouth uneven, then he has that tannish patch right above the snaggletooth that makes his mouth look even more uneven, resulting in a charming half-smile, reminiscent of Finn Hudson from Glee. No, but seriously. Compare them side by side:

finn vs finn
You see it, right?! I mean, surely you have to. Their smiles ARE THE SAME. They even hook upwards on the same side, guys. My cat is twins with Finn Hudson. Recognizing this even without helpful side by side comparisons, I pitched the idea of naming the cat Finn to my family, who thought it was hilarious and agreed. And now every time I call my cat’s name, I’m reminded how much TV romance has been determinedly awful lately. Sue from The Middle, I know you love cats, too, but please take pity and go with loving a guy as well- you don’t know how much depends on you. The future of my TV watching may be at stake.

gn21834_1

 

 

Sara

PS My goodbye for today is a cartouche that says “Desperately” in Egyptian hieroglyphics, or at least according to this hieroglyphic generator I used. I chose hieroglyphics because they come, obviously, from ancient Egypt, a country that worshiped cats as divine and had their own cat god. I like to think they would’ve appreciated a CatGenie as much as I would.

The Surprising Tale of a Single Girl Who Loves Valentine’s Day

Greetings, Dearest Readers.
I’m going to be upfront and confirm your fears, this is going to be a post about Valentine’s Day. Now, I know what you’re thinking. This girl wrote a whole post dedicated to being a Crazy Cat Lady, so a Valentine’s post from her is just going to be a whole hot crock pot of crazy. I mean, I have ample reason. I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s day since I was a freshman in high school (that’s eight years, in case you were wondering). And I don’t even know if that really counts as a date, since neither I nor my boyfriend could drive, and our date consisted of us going to Bad Brad’s BBQ with my family and awkwardly holding hands under the table. Since then, I haven’t even been asked. Now, as Lizzie’s aunt says in Pride & Prejudice, “That savors strongly of bitterness.” But I am being perfectly, one hundred percent honest when I say that I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY. Absolutely adore it. No matter how many pass boyfriendless, I never cease to enjoy them. Yesterday was no exception.
You might wonder why. Countless numbers of  unattached people despise it, and grumble loudly about it being “Single’s Awareness Day” and a completely awful, commercial, joke of a holiday. That is certainly one way to look at it. But for me, Valentine’s Day is simply a day to celebrate love. Now, I am obsessed with love as a concept. Since I first began stumbling through little books on my own when I was three or four, I have always gravitated towards the ones with a prince and princess. Now, as an adult, I rarely (if ever) read books without a hero and a heroine who fall for each other. If I’m being honest, I pretty much read only romance novels. I think love is the most powerful, important, and beautiful force on this earth. I could go on for days about how much I love love.
I have a strong suspicion this is the reason I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s in eight years. I’ve been told more than once in my life that I’m too picky and my standards are impossibly high. I’ve seen people all around me happily dating a few or a lot of people as we’ve gotten older, yet year after year passes and I find myself always single. On one hand, this frustrates me, and I start thinking that people are right and I’m ridiculous; I should just go out with somebody to at least say I dated. It’s not like I haven’t liked guys, but it always seems they were never interested in me, or when I got to actually know them better I could never have imagined dating them. And there have been people interested in me at times, and I’m sure with some effort on my part that something might have possibly come of it. But that’s the thing- I’ve never wanted anything to come of it. I’m really shy around guys I’m interested in; I’m not confident and I’m afraid of embarrassing myself if they don’t like me back. So far, I’ve never found a person who made me brave enough to put myself out there. I also have this slight problem where, even if I like a guy initially, if he starts showing even the slightest sign of something that could possibly be interest, I get so freaked out that it literally makes my stomach hurt.
I don’t know where this excess of anxiety and nerves came from; my mom loves to tell stories about what a confident little flirt I used to be when I was younger. I remember in elementary and middle school “dating” a whole slew of “boyfriends.” I mean, of course they were nothing serious, but I don’t remember ever being particularly shy around boys when I was younger. In high school I had a lot of unrequited crushes, but I at least had two somewhat serious boyfriends (well, as serious as two relationships of three to four months each can be) when I was a freshmen and then the summer before my senior year. But somewhere between when I dated my last boyfriend at sixteen, to the current, single me at the age of twenty-one, something happened. Unfortunately, I think I know the culprit- puberty. The older I got, the more I recognized that being in a relationship with someone was actually something serious, that you have to dedicate time and effort to. And I also realized that the older I got, relationships tended to have repercussions and expectations.  Suddenly, it was no longer just holding hands with a boy you see for a couple hours at school. It was real, and you had to actually trust someone to know you. And what if it was the wrong person?? It wasn’t like my romance novels, where I know the two are meant to be together and everything is going to turn out all right at the end. That’s one of my favorite things about romances, that guarantee of a happy ending. As I’ve aged, I have become something of a control freak; this has resulted in me being very cautious and, truthfully, something of a coward. Relationships in real life, with a glaring lack of a guarantee, were terrifying to me. I couldn’t stand the idea of making a mistake. The result of my years of reading is that I have a firm, unwavering belief in soulmates. I truly think that there is one person in the world who is exactly right for another person; that the characteristics of each perfectly complement the other and make them the best version of themselves they can be. What were the odds that the guy I randomly agreed to date would actually be that one person meant for me? The risk seemed unacceptable.
It’s still one of my deepest, most intense fears, that I’ll think I’ve found the right man and he ends up being wrong, and I have no desire to have a bunch of serious relationships before finally settling down. I want to fall in love, once, for real, and be happy with that person for the rest of my life. But I’m finally beginning to believe, just a little bit, that I could survive a failed relationship. I think that if I found someone who made me feel like they were worth the risk, I could be happy and not regret the relationship if it didn’t work out in the end. But until I find someone who actually makes me feel like he’s worth the effort, I am perfectly happy for Valentine’s to pass me by without even the hint of a special someone in my life. Better happy alone than unhappy in a relationship I’m in just for the sake of being in a relationship.
This is the reason why Valentine’s Day has evolved into something different for me than the traditional concept of a couple in love. For me, it’s a chance to celebrate the idea of love, in all its powerful glory. As the great F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” I think this is one of the most astute things I’ve ever heard said about the madness that is love. You can never love someone the same way, because no two people are exactly the same. While I believe in soulmates, I also believe that you can fall in love with someone who isn’t yours. It’s just a different kind of love. And for me, Valentine’s is about yet another type of love- the love I have for my family and friends. Valentine’s is just another chance for me to celebrate that, and to take the time to acknowledge and appreciate it. It’s also a day to remember to love myself; I always dress up on Valentine’s Day simply because it makes me feel good to do so. I spent a wonderful afternoon at work with my kids playing fun Valentine’s games and it reminded me how much I love my job and the kids I work with. Then I came home to eat dinner with my family. Along the way, I stopped and bought flowers for my mom and sister and my Nana. I also bought them some of their favorite candy, as well as my daddy (I would’ve bought him flowers, too, if I thought he wanted them).  I think it was as enjoyable for me to give to them as it was for them to get it. When I got home, my mom has a rose and a sweet card waiting for me. My parents almost always get me something nice for Valentine’s Day, and it means a lot. We went to dinner and had a lovely time, and I came home and snuggled up with my darling cats.

My handsome Valentine since the age of 6.

My handsome Valentine since the age of 6.

My great point in all this, I guess, is Valentine’s is whatever you make of it. Loving your family, loving your friends, loving your pets, loving yourself, loving that special someone, or even loving love itself; whatever your choice, Valentine’s can be wonderful. The same thing can be applied to life itself. Every single day is what you make of it, whether a celebration or a day to grumpily consider how everyone around you is either engaged or having a baby (let’s be real here, this thought has certainly crossed my mind on plenty of Valentine’s Days, as well as just regular days). And with that thought, I imagine this picture describes perfectly how I’m going to be spending my Valentine’s Days:

cat dinner partyJust imagine that guy as a woman, and it’s my future (cat dinner party, whaaaat!). Though, if Josh Hutcherson or Damian McGinty are reading this and needing a date for next Valentine’s, I am more than available. I’m sure the cats will be able to keep each other company.
Also, just a fun added note: I was awoken last night by the sound of Finn throwing up. When I went to clean it, I found perfectly whole stalks of some kind of plant. I began searching for a likely source, and finally discovered that Finn had gotten onto the dining table and eaten a large amount of leaves off the flowers my mom got for Valentine’s. There were a bunch of gnawed off nubs, still wet from Finn’s slobber. I moved the flowers to a place even Finn couldn’t get to, and learned a valuable lesson for all those future Valentine’s I’ll be spending with cats.

Con amore,
Sara

PS Italian was my choice for goodbye tonight, because it is considered one of the most romantic languages. “Con amore” means with “With love.”

Boots and Cats presents: #Forever Alone- A Story (Mostly) in Pictures

Salutations, Readers.
Tonight, I am attempting something a little bit new- a mostly pictorial blog post, including pictures and GIFS! So bear with me if it doesn’t go completely smoothly. There’s just something about gifs that I inherently love. They’re succinct, visually arresting, and yet often with convenient lines of text to really get the point across. Also, there’s an overwhelming variety of gifs that deal with my topic today, perhaps best described using a hash tag: #ForeverAlone.
As you all may know if you’ve read my About Me thing for this blog, I am already in training to become one of the greatest Crazy Cat Ladies of all time. It’s a point I take particular pride in, because I may not be able to do anything else exceptionally well, but by god can I love me some cats. I feel that at this time, I should present some evidence. Let me introduce you to my two cats. And just a note, I don’t even have my own house yet, and I still already have two cats. Observe:

If the Honey Badger were a cat.

If the Honey Badger was a cat.


Name: Boo-Boo
Age: 15
Gender: Male
Aliases: Boo, Boodle, Boo baby, Sweet Precious Baby Boy, Best Cat Ever



Name: Finn
Age: 2
Gender: Male
Aliases: Finny, Phineas, Finn-Finn, Finky, You Are The Craziest Cat Ever

An impressive resume so far, no? But someday I hope to get to this:

My story from today only reinforced my belief in this ultimate end for me, but I’ll drop a little background on you before I go further. A year or so ago I needed to buy new cleats for indoor soccer. There’s a somewhat limited number of places to buy nice cleats around where I live; generally everyone goes to a certain three stores owned by this guy from Iran. Well, in one of the stores, I had noticed a few times when I’d been in there that a gloriously attractive foreign man was working in the store. I admit this factored somewhat into my decision of which store to go look for cleats in. I was thrilled when he helped me pick out my cleats and I proceeded to post a photo to Facebook of them, with this caption: “Got new cleats for only $15 from my crush at Soccer USA! Someday, hot foreign mystery guy, I will ask your name.”  To my excessive embarrassment, one of my friends from college, Tiffany, commented telling me she was good friends with him and had worked with him at the store. I’d had no idea; I felt like the biggest creeper ever, only made worse by the fact that Tiffany was so nice about it and even offered to give me his number haha. My intensely shy, painfully awkward soul shuddered in horror.
Fast forward to 2012, right before I’m about to go back to college my senior year, and by a series of coincidences, Tiffany ends up becoming one of my roommates and subsequently one of my best friends. Of course, the hot, foreign guy is brought up (his name is Dragan, honest to god, and he’s from Macedonia), and a running joke is established about how Tiffany is going to set us up.
Now, finally back to today. I pinky promise to you I needed some new soccer socks; I only have one pair and I’m about to start playing indoor again after being off for like a month. But it’s possible that I could have bought soccer socks somewhere else. But Tiff hadn’t seen her good friend Dragan in ages, so why not go to the old soccer store so she could say hi and I could buy my socks? Two birds with one stone, guys. We got there, he was hot as ever, and he and Tiff chatted as I pretended to look at socks but really creeped horribly. Eventually it came up in the conversation that he was going home over the summer for his sister’s wedding and Tiffany, bless her heart, says “Ah, does that mean you’re going to get married?” I waited, ears perked and with bated breath. And this is the reply I heard, “Ew, no! I’m not getting married until I’m thirty. No relationships, single is much better!”

…………………………………

all by myself gif
We left pretty quickly after that, mostly because Tiffany had class but also because I was crushed. I didn’t even want to buy my socks anymore, but Tiffany was buying a shirt so I went ahead. I wanted to ask if they had any of these shirts available for purchase as well:

72 cats

It’s a rough life out there for the single ladies. Especially for those of us who prefer cats and books to flirting. And trust me, when I say I am painfully awkward around boys I like, I’m not even kidding. I once tripped a guy I liked… in college. But that’s for another day. It’s not necessarily even that I’m shy, it’s just that I am rather different and well aware of the fact. I am seriously the most boring, tame person ever. You all might think I’m over-exaggerating, but consider this. For my twenty-first birthday, do you know what I did? I ate at Red Lobster. With my family. Including my Nana, who is in her seventies. I had one drink. And then I went home. But hey, I was pretty tired, because that morning I’d gone to the zoo. For my twenty-first birthday.
But perhaps you don’t think that’s even that bad. So let’s take what I did for my eighteenth birthday…. I went polka dancing at the local Czech Hall, because we totally have one of those. Yep, polka dancing. This is why at pretty much every party I’ve ever been to in the history of ever, this is me, to some degree:

awkward darcy
Because honestly, I’d rather be at home reading a romance novel. It’s so much easier; I still get the charming love story but I can expend zero effort while cuddling with my cats. It’s really the ideal situation (and perhaps this is why I haven’t had a boyfriend since I was 16). I do go out places sometimes, and my friends always encourage me to put myself out there and talk to boys,  but it’s just so scary:

he could hear me

Trying to find a significant other just requires so much effort; it makes me want to take a nap just thinking about. Sleeping Beauty is really the smartest of the Disney princesses because she just took a nap and let the hottest Disney prince (#TeamPhillip) do all the work. That’s a game plan I can absolutely get behind. Disappointingly so far in my life, taking a nap like Aurora and reading endlessly like Belle hasn’t lured a prince in yet. I’ve tried some other methods:

Get milkshakes, they said. The boys will come, they said. #wherearetheboys?

Get milkshakes, they said. The boys will come, they said. #wherearetheboys?

 So far, however, this is the closest I’ve gotten to any interest:

camel kiss

We didn’t exactly suit. I know beggars can’t be choosers, but a girl has to have some standards. So, unless something very unexpected comes along (for example, someone like this little Romeo, except not 9 years old), I fully assume that my life is going to end up being some sort of combination of this:


Hope you guys enjoyed all the pictures/gifs and got a little bit of a kick out of how excited I am to be a Cat Lady. But it’s like my grandpa always said*, “Cats, don’t judge you; cats understand.” My ultimate goal is to get a cat named Peeta so I can say that’s who I share my bed with every night, and that’s why I’m going to be #ForeverAlone.

Valete,
Sara

PS I decided to go with Latin, because it’s as dead as my love life. According to this person, “valete” means good-bye or stay strong, which I encourage all my other single, book-loving, cat crazy comrades to do. And speaking of books, I’m going to take a moment to emphatically promote the book The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen; it’s one of the best I’ve read in the last ten years and I highly recommend it. She’s also having a contest to give away a copy of the upcoming sequel; I am on absolute tenterhooks waiting for it to come out!
Lastly, I want to encourage you to check out another blog post with gifs that I just happened to stumble upon the other day where a girl shares her experience with braces. It’s very short, but I was pretty much in tears because I was laughing so hard when I finished. It’s worth a read so check it out!

*My grandpa never said this ever in his life that I know of.