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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Equal Time for Virginia Woolf

Photo credit: J. D. Morehouse

Virginia Woolf ~ July, 2009
BFFs for almost 2 years now

I tried the room-mating thing for awhile. It did not suit me. It lasted 10 unhappy weeks. I was so determined to get out of there, I worked two 8-hour-a-day jobs for a month to buy things I'd need to set up housekeeping without tapping savings or building credit card debt. I hired two home dudes to move me on Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas (not pleasant), worked like a dock walloper myself, and no - I didn't let the door hit me in the ass as I left. I am sure the people I roomed with do not consider me a very pleasant person. It was one of the most unhappy times of my life.

I scoured craigslist diligently looking for the good goods - cheap. Found a great sofa, and I knew home dudes to clean and scotchguard it for me. The seller convinced me to also buy a lovely red bamboo floor mat to go with it. I got a dining set for a song and I think it is the handsomest thing I have ever seen. When the seller delivered it to me we had to be pretty crafty - I couldn't carry my end of the glass top and we had to engage the help of a new neighbor.

I knew I wanted a cat with me from move-in day, and I found that on craigslist, as well. I don't feel that "a cat is just a cat". Not all cats bond with all humans. It's personal. It's individual. The owner of the "small, but adult, all black female cat" was a good e-mail correspondent, so she got more attention from me than the hit-and-miss types. Conveniently, she lived near the house I was moving from. It was arranged that I would visit a couple of times to meet and befriend "Athena".

The woman was friendly as she let me come in. My first sight in the home was a pack of 10-12 completely black cats roaming around - these cats were identical. Except for male vs. female, I don't know how one could have differentiated them. The woman, however, plunged her arm into the herd and gently lifted the one who was Athena. I confess to looking at the back end of Athena, just to make sure she was a female. Come on, nobody could possibly tell these cats apart. Athena charmed me completely and I asked if I could come back soon just to reaffirm that we'd be well-suited. "Sure," the woman said.

A few days later I returned. On that visit, I noticed the fine, self scooping cat litterbox contraption. They are quite expensive, and intriguing. It scoops itself, but one still has to collect and dispose of the scoopings, so . . . . hmmmm. Surrounding this mechanical litterbox were acres of cat droppings on the floor. I don't think those cats liked the device, and I asked the woman about that. "Oh, the only one who will go in the box is Athena. All the others go on the floor around the litterbox." ("No shit," I thought to myself) . I asked her if she felt certain Athena reliably used the box, because a cat who can't catch on about the litterbox has no future with me. "Oh, yes - absolutely. She's the only one who does use it."

I said that I would like to take Athena into my home and we made arrangements for me to pick her up on moving day. As I was leaving, I asked if she was finding new owners for all the other cats. I wasn't sure if she was moving away or just decided she didn't want to keep 10-12 cats any longer. "Oh, we're not giving any other cats away. Just Athena." What?!?! If you can figure that out, please clue me in.

On moving day I appeared with my cat carrier, picked up Athena and put her in the car. I'd left the A/C running while I collected her ~ didn't want to roast her in her own juices. She got agitated in the car, howling as some cats do when transported. She was pretty loud, incessant, and began the drooling thing, eyes bugging from her head. I turned off my CD player to reduce the noise level in the car and said "Come on, Virginia Woolf, we're going to the new home we'll share." I said it quietly. She never made another sound. Silent assent. I swear that is literally true. We have been BFFs since that day. That cat has never, once, offered to do anything other than use her litterbox. (Let's make sure that's the one we give away, OK?)

A few months later, I noticed her jump into the litterbox as I was leaving for work. OK, I could wait a moment, scoop, and go. To my horror, I saw blood in the litterbox! I went on to work, but David took a look at my face, asked what was going on and then said, "Call the vet now and go - don't lose an hour." I did and I didn't. The result was anticlimactic and expensive. The Badger said, "Wow - that's a lot of money! How do you feel about that?" I replied, "Oh, Badger, imagine being a creature so small, so lowly, that the best deal you ever had in life was Limes watching over you. I'll take care of her the best I can for as long as I can and I won't ever extend her life to make me comfortable."

And now I'm done (for the moment) blogging about those silly animals and I shall move on to other topics.

In my ears right now: What do you think? Stray Cat Strut! ". . . I don't bother chasing mice around, I slink down the alley looking for a fight, Howling to the moonlight on a hot summer night, Singin' the blues while the lady cats cry,"Wild stray cat, you're a real gone guy." . . .

Something that charmed me: David quickly sending me away from Mission Control to get my cat attended to. I didn't know him all that well at the time. I didn't know the way he loves his own pets and considers them important members of the family.


  1. That is a pretty good picture of her, isn't it? She looks regal. A good cat, is a ... good cat. A great post.

  2. It's a wonderful picture of her and I thank you for it. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. When something is up with one of my kitties, I try to keep in mind that the best deal he has in life is ____ watching over him, and that I'll do the best I can. I wish they all would live 20 years, but we have as many good years as we can.

  4. Yes, well said, sister cat lover! I love the veterinary version of the Hippocratic oath: "First, do no harm." We enjoy them during the time they are destined to spend with us and mourn them once they've gone. I'm still speaking of Tyler, born in 1976 and who left us in 1993.