So I just finished rewatching felicity. We started watching it again a few years ago but never got beyond four or five episodes of season one. Mark doesn’t know how to binge watch anything; he watches one episode a day whereas I do at least five. Anyway, 20 years ago I was Team Ben over Team Noel. Upon the rewatch, I am definitely Team Noel. Ben was such a wishy-washy jerk, and Noel was always there for her – no matter what happened. I used to think Ben was tortured and misunderstood and that Noel was boring. The thing is, after season one, there really wasn’t any competition between the two guys. Felicity was always all about Ben. It’s funny how I remember thinking Noel had a chance and that there was a true triangle, but there never really was any hope for Noel and Felicity to be together. Also interesting is that I remembered season one clearly, season two barely, and seasons three and four not at all. Time and perspective are funny things. #teamnoel

Sam wanted to say hey because today is #BlackCatAppreciationDay!

Chillin’

finally

August 17, 2018 | View Comments

After a 19/20 year wait, Mark’s name finally came up, and he’s now a season ticket holder!

Season ticket holder - after a 19/20 year wait!

I said on Twitter that my very first post when I got back to writing would be about how fucking awful memorablegifts.com is. I’m not even going to link to them. I may be a little late in getting around to it, but I still feel the same way: you need to boycott these assholes.

I actually liked them at first because I searched high and low until I found the cutest memory boxes for my babies on their site. I wanted a place to put their stuff (ashes, favorite toys, snippets of bedding they loved, and so on), and the box I found was just perfect! I had gotten a total of five others engraved over the years without incident. When I needed one to order for Pacey, I decided to get three more – for Lulu, Samuel, and Oliver – to have just in case. Minus the maybe-jinxing-myself factor, I liked them so much that I was afraid they’d be discontinued and I’d have to find another one.

But there were issues with all four of these that I got from them. They had scratches and paint on them, and I was so disappointed. I took pictures and emailed them to my contact. Initially, she was trying to blame this on FedEx. She said that those marks were made after they shipped them to us. I replied that there was no way this could be true because they were packed so very tightly and there was just no possibility of movement whatsoever. Like none. Then she told me that production recreated the one issue with silver paint. In fact, my replacement boxes had to stop being made until the engraving project with the silver paint was completed first. It was frustrating because I just wanted to put Pacey’s belongings in his box!

I asked her to please inspect these new boxes closely because I am a perfectionist. She said they wanted the original boxes back to investigate how the damage occurred. After they recreated the damage, I never heard anything else about the need to send them back. Besides, when companies want something back, they typically send paperwork and arrange a pick-up date. That never happened. I also wrote in an email, “I am expecting that I won’t need to send my boxes back in anymore since production recreated the issues themselves” to which I never ever heard anything back. And when these four replacements arrived, they were far from perfect too. When I got them, I emailed that Oliver and Lulu’s boxes had minor scratches on them. That’s when I recieved a call tag as an official request to send those two boxes back. I said I wasn’t going to do that because I wanted to try to fix them with wood markers (which worked!). And that was that. Or so I thought.

Then out of the blue, like a month and a half or so after, I got a phone call from the company president, Raffi Dermenjian. I know everyone throws the “bully” word around a lot these days, but that’s exactly what he was. He kept cutting me off, kept raising his voice, and kept accusing me of lying. He wanted the first four boxes back, and we had almost thrown them out! He said he was going to charge us for the damaged products if we didn’t have them. He also said I never sent pictures of the first four boxes that had paint and scratches on them, but I did. He was basically insinuating that I was making the damage up. I mentioned the issue with the silver paint being recreated and my boxes not being redone until the silver paint job was over, and he said I was never told that. I guess I just pulled that out of my ass. He then said my contact was trying to reach me via phone and emails for days about sending the first four boxes back, but that wasn’t true. My phone never ever rang from their offices until he called me. I tried to say that I don’t think she emailed me either because all of her emails came thru to my inbox just fine (I guess there’s a slim chance they could have gone to my junk folder, but that never happened with them before). He didn’t believe me about any of that either. In fact, he didn’t even believe I was a previous customer! I couldn’t even say more than a few words at a time before he’d cut me off with yelling and accusations that I was lying. He also minimized my chronic pain when I said I was unable, at that exact moment we were on the phone, to go out to the garage to see if we still had the first four. This guy was a giant, rude asshole. I honestly couldn’t believe the conversation. I hung up on him because why not? He wasn’t letting me speak and just repeatedly said I was lying about the things I could squeak out. He called right back, but I didn’t pick up. I sent a not-so-pleasant email after Mark said we still had the boxes. They then sent over the paperwork and arranged pick-up, which was fine. But I’ll never forget the way I was spoken to or the way I was treated. It was ridiculous. My contact must have lied to him over and over. I’m not sure why he didn’t check her emails too before calling me. What happened to “the customer is always right?” What would I want with a bunch of damaged memory boxes anyway? Would I sell them on eBay to people who also had pets named Lulu and Oliver or something? All I wanted were ones that looked just as nice as the other five I already had. They are, after all, for my babies. FYI, between the scratches being made to look better (like perfect) with marker and the silver paint rubbing off on some of the others, I did end up with four boxes that fit my needs. Things just didn’t need to go down like this.

self-absorption

August 9, 2018 | View Comments

So Oliver’s session with the groomer didn’t go quite as planned. He was supposed to get a lion’s cut, but he’s running around 1/4 of the way shaved. I should have realized he’d have this kind of reaction to the sound of the clippers because he doesn’t like the pet massager or my foot shaver thing (for dead skin). The groomer gave it tons of tries and was very patient. She mentioned that he was the worst cat she’s ever attempted, so yay us. He basically couldn’t get away from her fast enough and was bucking like a bronco. So then we attempted it ourselves. I bought a shaver that was considered a “quiet shaver” and cotton balls for his ears. The vet gave us some gabapentin to make him drowsy. Though he may have been yawning, he was still too alert for us to make one swipe down his fur with it. The next step is to have him go to the vet where he would be put under and shaved by them. We are still trying all the other hairball remedies, and we are definitely brushing him more often. I wasn’t great about keeping up with that (there’s a reason which will be in an upcoming post), but he hasn’t had any mats and such since his fur didn’t grow while he was on the prednisolone for the past six or so months. In fact, the spot where he had been shaved for his blood transfusion (anemia issues) in December didn’t even start to grow in until like June. And he is a huge groomer, so I don’t know if being better with this will even matter; seriously, he is always wet! This is our last attempt before having the vet shave him down. I’d like them to do it anyway just to even it out, but Mark doesn’t agree. So yeah.

Speaking of my cats, the last time I was writing regularly I think I mentioned that we were looking at cat retirement homes in case something were to happen to both Mark and me. We visited two places that were close to each other and settled on one, though I preferred the other. One was $10,000 per cat, and the better one was $50,000 for each. We could now do the one I like, but we ended up changing our minds altogether and went from a place to a person. We agreed that she is just so ridiculously the right woman for the job, and she said she’d be honored! Thus, we had to modify the established pet trust with the lawyer and change everything over to her. I scheduled this lawyer visit out months in advance to coincide with my appointment with my pain management doctor. Two trips back to New Jersey would have been hard on me. When it was about a month out, I contacted the paralegal to remind her that our appointment was coming up and that I hadn’t heard anything back regarding the questions I had sent over awhile back. She made some comment about how they use a calendar system so she would know what was coming up when. It was worded condescendingly. I mean, of course they do. No shit. That annoyed me because I felt like she was talking down to me when I was just being my usual nagging self and sending a little reminder. Her other emails were curt and dismissive too, but she’s very personable one-on-one. It’s weird. Anyway, they did totally wait until the last minute to update our will and trust – she sent more questions and told me to answer them that very night. This was Thursday. She was off on Friday and our appointment was Tuesday. She wanted to “finish” things on Monday. She was now rushing us. So, so much for her calendar. I even got a call Monday afternoon saying they thought the pet trust should be rescinded and turned into a guardianship, which was not what we wanted at all. And when we got there Tuesday, the main paragraph on the pet trust was still all wrong. Mark was mystified. I just laughed. At least everything is now in order and notarized.

Also speaking of cats, the grey and white cat, the one who has been showing up mainly at 10:20pm to eat, hasn’t shown up in three nights now. I am a total jinx. And I am sad and worried, of course.

I’m still trying to find the right kind of medical marijuana that’ll help me with my chronic pain and/or anxiety. The only thing it’s doing right now is making me feel calmer and more relaxed inside. It’s easier to let things go when Mark and I fight. He gets bent out of shape over everything, so it totally makes him much more tolerable. My first battery was defective, so that was super annoying. And the second time I went to the dispensary, the guy said they were all out of the types specific for anxiety, but I heard another employee tell her customer that a hybrid works for it. One of them was just making shit up. So I got two different ones this time, and I think they both may be making my anxiety worse. I don’t know. I feel like this whole thing is a guessing game. They don’t even carry the same kind from day-to-day, so would it even matter if I found something that worked well? So far I’m not all that impressed.

We are having an issue with our renter at our old house. When the first couple moved on after a year, we had two renters to choose from. I wanted to go with one single renter, and Mark wanted to go with the grandmother and her adopted granddaughters. Mine was a year lease, and his was a three-year lease. He didn’t listen to me or my gut, and now we are having trouble getting the granny to pay up. There was a partial payment that was sent electronically that Mark didn’t mean to accept – it’s all or nothing! Anyway, he sent one letter saying that she needed to pay the rest in full. She hasn’t. The next payment is due soon, and we are wondering if she’s gonna get her act together or not. Our lawyer also does real estate stuff, and he said he’d do an official letter whenever Mark was ready to start the eviction process. I never liked the idea of renting to begin with. There are way too many fucking horror stories out there. In New Jersey, where the house is, the law is geared more favorably towards the tenant than the renter. I wonder if we will have a hell of a time getting her out if need be. He should have listened to my instincts, eh?

So I was on Facebook and saw someone who commented on another person’s post. This chick is a white trash menace. Believe it or not, she disliked me ever since we were in fucking kindergarten! See, her mom used to date my dad, and she never got over him. My dad decided to date someone better for him when he went out with my mom. Anyway, her mom truly poisoned her against me. She told her daughter, who then told me, that she scratched my dad’s face with her nails when they fought or broke up or something. Did either of us little girls need to know something like that at that age? I mean, Jesus Christ. And kindergarten was just total chaos for me. She got the teacher to dislike me, truly. She’d go up to her and tell her that I did things I didn’t do, and I was constantly being put in the corner while crying from frustration. This happened day after day until my mom went in to talk to the teacher. It’s a wonder I loved school so much when I started out with such a bad experience. And she always talked shit about me throughout school, though we never had any classes together after kindergarten. She was on a different track in life. So I clicked on her profile to see if I could see anything about what she was now up to, and she had several Trump 2020 photos on her page. Figures.

Lastly, I won’t be doing the color teal next year for my outdoor umbrella, pillows, gazing ball, and lanterns. I ordered teal lanterns from pier 1 because they were giving me more than enough of the blue I wanted out there. Well, unfortunately for me, though they may have been the same height, they were way wider; they took up half the patio table! So that’s a no. Maybe I’ll fall in love with something else when we go to take them back. I’m just so, so absolutely sick of the red that we currently have out there.

Another cool thing about living here is how close the deer get to our house. I can wave at them and talk to them – and they just look at me and keep chewing!

Deer invasion, photo 3
Deer eating food we left out for the raccoons

the neighbor cat (and more)

August 5, 2018 | Comments Off

One of the first animals we noticed around our new house was a pretty tortoiseshell cat. According to our security cameras, she was in our yard a lot. Unfortunately, she’d run from us all the time, so it took awhile of being persistent and putting out kibble for her to come around to liking us. She’s usually here in the early mornings for some dry food that Mark puts out on his way to work, and she tends to return close to dinner time for some wet food. The previous owner said that she was sure she belonged to the family next door. The cat had a collar, so we hoped she belonged to someone. She also said her name is Nabi, which is butterfly in Korean. One day I briefly spoke to the woman next door, but there was a definite language barrier. I just tried to convey that we always see her, that she’s pretty, and that we feed her. She’s now pretty good at coming to our house if I yell, “Nabi! Pretty girl!” There’s a part of the fence that she can easily scoot under, so that’s how she gets between our two houses. She doesn’t like to be pet a lot, but she is very vocal. Also, she’s the bitch of the neighborhood; she’s bossy, sassy, and demanding. One time I saw a bigger black cat (the one we call Sam’s Twin) approach her, and it backed away from her. I just didn’t expect to see that! She may be a small package, but she is fierce! Nabi lost her first collar at some point; her owners replaced it, but it was like they didn’t smooth it out very well. That collar was gone after a couple of weeks, and we kept waiting for them to put on a new one. I told Mark we should get one for her, and he finally agreed with me like two weeks later. So we got another pink one – reflective, breakaway, and with a bell. We each separately couldn’t get it on her, but we amazingly were able to do it together (I joked that we should have an ambulance ready on standby). I hope the neighbors don’t think we overstepped. We have nicknamed her Mark’s girlfriend (“she’s the only girl nice to me!”), side piece, mistress, etc. Sometimes we even refer to her as our outside daughter. It will break our goddamned hearts if something ever happens to her. When I don’t see her during what should be one of her regularly scheduled visits, I get nervous until I finally do see her again. And whew! She has absolutely no interest in coming inside the house, and she hisses at my cats if she sees them. Hahah.

Here are some photos of her. The last two are so funny to us because she decided to jump up on the ledge outside our kitchen window to let us know she was all out of cat food!

She’s always moving around, so we can never get a decent picture of the neighbor kitty...
Mark adoring the neighbor’s cat
Nabi, the neighbor kitty, jumped up on the ledge outside our kitchen window to let us know she was all out of the cat food that we leave out for her!
Nabi, the neighbor kitty, jumped up on the ledge outside our kitchen window to let us know she was all out of the cat food that we leave out for her!

And here are a few videos:











We have had a bunch of other cats pass by too – and we try to have dry food out at all times for them. Some used to be regulars or semi-regulars, and it hurts my heart when I don’t see them anymore; I can only hope and wish that they’re all okay. There was a bigger grey cat with longer hair and a white mustache that I really miss seeing. Moo Kitty (has the markings of a cow, real original nickname) used to come every day, but now we only see her twice a month. We had these two young tuxies (Tuxie 1 and Tuxie 2) who would stop by, and they weren’t very skittish. They came at different times (never together) for a few weeks. One had a white front leg and one had a white back leg. I really hope they’re safe too. Sigh. Another regular is Sam’s Twin, and he isn’t very social. And then there’s this grey cat with a white chest, white leg, and white mustache who has been coming for about four-five weeks now. He always stops by between 9:50pm and 10:30pm, usually right at 10:20pm. He was eating right next to the raccoons (story coming), but I’ve started putting a dish of dry and wet food closer to the end of the carport so that he can eat in peace. He’s gotten a little less afraid of me, but I don’t know if it’ll ever get to the point where I could bring him inside (wait, what).

my #metoo story

July 28, 2018 | Comments Off

I wrote about this on my Facebook page last November, but I wanted to write about it here, too. So this is my #metoo story.

This happened in high school. I was at a friend’s house. She lived with her grandparents and invited a couple of us there one day. She had me, another girl, and a guy over. Anyway, somehow he and I ended up by ourselves in a room off of the kitchen. We were sort of friends, and I had always thought he was so incredibly funny. We were just talking about regular stuff when he suddenly swiped the entire length of my vagina, from back to front. I was in shock, embarrassed, and stunned. I don’t remember how I left the room, but I know that I told my friend what happened and asked her to tell him to leave – but she said she wasn’t going to do that; she always was a self-absorbed bitch. I will admit that it has affected me my whole life. Over the years, whenever a guy has tried to “go there” without me getting any advance notice first, I instinctively smack his hand away. It has definitely impacted me sexually. I’ve never forgotten this or how awful it made me feel and still makes me feel. Last year he tried to “friend” me on Facebook, but that is obviously never happening. I eventually did message him to remind him about what he did and to tell him about how it affected me. His reply? “Sorry to hear that but was not me Rosalie” – AS IF I DIDN‘T KNOW WHO DID something like that to me and when, right? An apology wouldn’t have really changed anything for me, but an outright denial is definitely infuriating. #metoo

introducing Oliver

July 27, 2018 | Comments Off

Now it’s time to introduce Oliver, our first new pet in ten years!

Oliver plays in the Catty Stacks tunnel
Oliver, 7.5 months, 13 pounds, loves crossing his paws
Oliver chases a bug
Oliver cuteness overload

I had always wanted a Maine Coon, and now I have one! We got him when he was 13 weeks-old, and now he’s 2 years and 4 months-old.

And, I know, I know. I always say to Adopt, Don’t Shop. But I’ve done my fair share of adopting and rescuing (even one abused) over the years. And I’ll never shop/buy again because I know there are way too many in shelters and on the streets who need a good home. But there’s something about a giant Maine Coon with huge paws and furry ears that I’ve always really just loved. I’m sure I’ll get judgment from the cat community, but that’s okay. I’ve done my fair share there and will continue to, too. We take things to shelters all the time. And a few years back, I used many of my pr connections and literally loaded up the entire back of Mark’s then-Xterra to take a donation trip to Kitty City and Animal Haven Farm in Forked River, NJ. You can search for that with those keywords, if you’d like. It was very rewarding. I hope to do something similar one day again after I start writing more and build my pet reputation back up.

For basically still being just a kitten, this little fluffy butt has had a huuuuge number of health issues. First, our vet said he had a heart murmur, and Maine Coons are known for having heart issues. The first time we saw the cardiologist, he said that he saw early signs of hcm and told us to get him retested in a year, at which point we might talk about medications. Then, at the second visit, the cardiologist said that Oliver had the same type (harmless) as Lulu, a functional flow murmur. When I asked about the hcm, he said it wasn’t in his previous records. Um, what? I made sure he wasn’t accidentally looking at Lulu’s chart, and he wasn’t. So I think I’ll have him checked for a third time next year. Second, Oliver had some serious anemia issues that were officially diagnosed in December, and he’s thankfully been okay for like two months now. Looking back, he did become lethargic and he did become less chatty, but I didn’t notice the slow loss of those things until after the fact. In August, he had stopped eating, so we took him in to the emergency vet. When they drew blood there, his numbers were off, but no one said anything to us then. So fast forward to December. This is when he started licking/eating litter and when I called the vet. He had blood drawn, and it showed a low value. They set up an appointment to come back in a week to draw more to see if there was a change. That’s when he started getting fussy with food. He didn’t eat any breakfast at all one day, and that was the day we got the results back that said the values plummeted and he needed an emergency blood transfusion immediately. It was all so very scary. He ended up having two blood transfusions at his hospital stay. When he came home, he was on a few different types of medications, and then it was a hell of a time getting him off of prednisolone entirely. His numbers would go up and down, and it was always being tweaked. He’s had his blood drawn basically every 2-3 weeks since then. My poor, furry pincushion! Now his blood still shows that he has high lymphocytes, and nobody can figure out why. Third, I already wrote about the emergency surgery he had to have after he caught his armpit on a door latch; he used to like jumping up the walls by the door frame, but he has only done that just once more since the whole ordeal. Lastly, he has hairball issues. He is always wet because he is always grooming himself. He doesn’t throw up often. When he does, though, it’s as if he’s throwing up mini logs, in length and width. One of the last times he puked, it was the size of 1.5 bananas, only thicker. We have brushed him often, tried the treats, tried the paste, recently tried the coconut oil, and recently tried the pineapple juice. Then last night, he still threw up another masterpiece. When he doesn’t feel well (right before a puking incident), he skips a meal. So, we’ve never had a long-haired cat before, and we love his fur – it literally feels like it’s made of cotton balls! But it looks like he will need to be shaved. I have an appointment for him to get a lion’s cut on Wednesday. Mark is sort of against this because his fur is amazing and it’ll be missed, but he knows that it’s dangerous for him to have that kind of a solid hair thing in his tummy. A shave is better than surgery – for all involved. So, all in all, I’m hoping the lymphocyte thing doesn’t cause anything new and nasty to appear, and I really hope Oliver likes his little haircut!

He isn’t your typical friendly, affectionate, follow-you-around-like-a-dog Maine Coon. Oh, no. He isn’t overly cuddly, he’s stingy with affection, and he runs from us if we try to pick him up. He will come to us on his own every now and again. When he decides to grace us with his presence, he will drape himself all over us, purr loudly, and make biscuits. He also does this ridiculously cute thing where he will lay on us and then look at us upside down while staring sweetly into our eyes. Everyone who has met him has commented on how handsome he is, and he knows how handsome he is too. Oliver likes sitting in front of air vents and space heaters, laying in his cat hammock and cat towers, and playing with looney loops. When he first was adopted, he played in the water all the time, would tear up plastic products, and loved to chew on straws. He has a nose like a beagle and is always sniffing things; if there is a crumb, he will find it! He’s also very, very particular about the state of the litter boxes. He crosses his paws when he’s just hanging out. He crinkles up his nose when he eats. He sleeps on the memory boxes of our passed pets. Oliver defers to Sam on everything (toys, treats, food) but views Lulu as prey. He’s been quite an expensive handful so far, but he’s definitely worth every single penny!

For more photos of my tiny kitten, click here!

all things Sam

July 24, 2018 | Comments Off

Now it’s time for an update on our Samuel!

Sam checks out the new cat grass!
Handsome Sam in the sunroom
Sam chirps at the squirrel he sees
Sam resting in his new living room chair for the first time!

Sam is now 11.5 years-old. After we moved here, we found some blood in his poo. Kip was 12 when we found some in his, and it ended up being cancer. So, obviously I was scared to death. The vet said it was colitis and would improve on its own, and it did. When we stopped seeing the blood, I thought I was going to lose my mind over the happiness I felt. In other news, he has high blood pressure like Lulu, and he’s on medication twice a day for that too. The biggest issue with him is the ongoing gingivitis (and such) with his teeth and gums. He’s had so many cleanings and a couple of extractions. In the spring, he had to have his gums cut back due to overgrowth. He had to have that done again about a month ago. The vet recommended doing cleanings every few months to get a better handle on the situation. I’ve been giving him duralactin and also using wipes and coconut oil. I hope it totally resolves soon. This time around his gums aren’t bleeding when I use the wipes, so I’m hopeful that progress has been made.

Sam used to be a terror 24/7. He was very, very vigilant about every single thing going on inside the house. Now he’s less vigilant in that regards, but he does get worked up (sniffing, snorting) when he sees any of our neighborhood’s cats out of the windows. He has gotten a touch crankier in his old age, though. We can simply just walk past him, and he will hiss at us. Overall, though, Sam has settled down and is calmer, sweeter, and cuddlier. He has inherited Pacey’s cuddling/spooning spots at nap time and bedtime. He even cuddles with Mark so much more now too! He loves the sunroom and the window bird feeders. He gets along nicely with his new brother. I prepped Sam for awhile before Oliver came home, and he did so well with it. He was patient with this new, tiny kitten, and now they are good brothers. He continues to chase Lulu, so she’s not that fond of him. He is still obsessed with playing with looney loops, so much so that seven of them can disappear over the course of a few days!

For more photos of my little man, click here!


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