full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


how my life has changed since adopting cats

1. I haven’t ironed a single piece of clothing for work. But I do show up with cat hair on everything.
1200329The first part is definitely true. I used to iron my clothes the night before work, or if I forgot, then in the morning, even if it would make me late. Maybe, when I gained weight during The Breakup/depression, the new clothes I bought were less wrinkle-prone, but coincidentally, that was also when I adopted Clea and Oreo. The truth is out there, but I’m not sure which came first—the chicken or the egg.

As for cat hair, well, I actually try NOT to show up at work with it on my clothes, but sometimes, no matter how hard and often you use a lint brush (and I have THE BEST one), there is always a stray or four to be seen.

2. When something is on the floor, instead of picking it up, I just walk around it.
This happened the other day, which is what prompted me to make this list. Why pick it up when it will just end up on the floor again? How many times have I had to pick up the garbage strewn on my kitchen floor only to have to pick it up again because Coal loves to get in the plastic temporary garbage bag and tear it apart? Just for fun. Because he can.

3. I keep the toilet paper under the sink.
IMG_0008_400It is a common practice among cat lovers to take photos or videos of their cats unrolling or chewing up the toilet paper instead of rushing to grab the roll to salvage what’s left. (And in fact, it is an acceptable/good practice to take photos of anything bad rather than stopping the behaviour, because we love our cat photos.) In my house, Coal is the only one who has ever targeted the toilet paper. He stopped doing it when he got older in my old apartment. But when we moved into our condo five years ago, he acquired a renewed sense of TP madness. I once got creative and bought a toilet paper guard (yes, there really is such a thing. It’s apparently a baby safety item!). That worked for a good few months. Of course, my visitors were annoyed (it’s not hard to open, people), but my cats take priority. And then Coal outsmarted me and figured out how to unlock the guard. And so, now, the toilet paper is in the cupboard under the bathroom sink. Thankfully, I can reach for it from the toilet seat.

4. My tolerance for dust and cat hair is beyond high.
I used to be such a neat freak. Not Monica-crazy-OCD clean, but enough that my apartment was never full of clutter, laundry was always folded, and dishes were done as I cooked (ok, maybe a little OCD). When we moved into our brand new condo, it was such a treat because it was so sparkly clean, I had a dishwasher and insuite laundry, and I didn’t have to go outside to get to the garbage/recycling bins. And then little by little, there was always a dust monster or two even after I vacuumed, tiny particles of litter under my feet, and dried cat food on the walls. Everywhere I go, there is cat hair. Even when I cook, I’ll find a stray cat hair on my plate. HOW DID IT GET THERE?!!!! When I have people over, I have to spend a week cleaning, just for one evening. That’s why I don’t have people over very often. It’s too much freaking work! I’d rather just sit on my FURniture alone and watch TV.

5. I don’t shower on weekends because I don’t need to impress my cats.
Ok, I admit that sometimes I don’t shower on weekdays either. I frequently sleep through my alarm, so I’m usually late for work. And my hair is sooo long now that I can curl it on days I don’t shower or put it up in a messy bun and not worry about it. But weekends are the best. My cats don’t care and wouldn’t even know the difference between smelly me and non-smelly me.

6. I yell a lot more.
944946Coal and his protégé Wilbur are the naughtiest kittens you’ll meet in my house. I yell at them a lot. And sometimes, I use the wrong name. That’s when you know you have too many cats. Maybe I can attach the spray bottle to my new selfie stick…

7. I talk about cats all the time.
I have always liked cats, preferred cats, wanted cats. Dogs, not so much. I had no affinity towards them and would stay clear of them on the street. I especially hated it when they would jump on me and lick me. Yeach! But since I got my mogwoppits, my feelings towards other animals (dogs, lol) have transitioned from tolerance to love. I now stop and pet dogs, let them lick my hand, let them jump on me. The key change is a love of all animals and my advocacy against abuse and cruelty, including the “food” industry. But, back to cats. Yes, I talk about them all the time, I watch cat videos every chance I get, and I post photos every day. And if you don’t like that, you can meow off.

8. I do a lot more laundry.
When I have to. Because Coal has taken to peeing on my bed if the litter box isn’t clean enough by his standards. Recently, in one week, I had to put my bedding in the laundry three times! But while I do a lot more laundry, I don’t always fold it right away. Sometimes, I’m just too tired.

9. My camera happy trigger finger is ready at all times.
It used to be my real camera; now, it’s my smartphone. It’s always ready, I’m always ready, but sometimes, the kitties are too quick, and they move or change positions in the moment right before I take the photo. I used to print photos for albums, but now thank goodness for social media. {All photos in this post are courtesy of social media albums.}

10. I am content to be alone, as long as I have my cats next to me.
As I’ve alluded to many times before, The Breakup was the death of me. I wish I had adopted a cat right after that. But it was a year and a half before I did. I adopted Clea and Oreo, and then two months later, I sought out Coal. My life changed. I was finally healing. And in fact, I wrote about them when I first started this blog. And a year later, Wilbur came into my world (Wilbur was my foster fail).

I spent two years alone—I didn’t date, I didn’t talk to any of my old flames, I didn’t care. I realized that I was content to be alone. For the rest of my life. I didn’t need a man, and I didn’t even want one. If I was never in a relationship again, I was fine with that. I only needed myself to feel whole.

But I would die if I didn’t have my cats. ❤



insatiable desire to learn

1176405_2Here we go again. At age 40, I’m going back to school. The last time I did this, I was 38. My insatiable desire to learn is going to kill me. The commitment to homework at my age is almost non-existent. Heck, my commitment to cleanliness, exercise, nutrition, volunteer work certainly wanes these days. I would rather watch TV and play Facebook games all day than do anything productive. {I sound like a teenaged boy, don’t I?} It’s probably because I’m single. I hate to say it, but perhaps I need to face the truth. Nobody comes over, so my place doesn’t need to be clean. Nobody is dating me, so I don’t need to lose weight. LOL

But eventually, I will get bored of watching TV and playing Facebook games all day. I know because I’ve tried it. And this certificate (my third) in non-profit management is new and offered only once a year, and it would help me in my volunteer position and facilitate networking with important contacts. And it’s online, so I don’t have to take time off work to attend classes, like I did with my last certificate (which resulted in the creation of my volunteer project and position).

So, I’m going to ignore the additional debt I’m going to take on {what happens when you have insurmountable debt? Do “they” come after you? And if so, who is “they”?} and start working on my application.

I’m counting this as part of my 40th birthday celebration.

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Oh . . . no, it’s called Tinder. I had to google it. I came across an article that said “If you’re single, you’re probably on Tinder.” That bugs me. Why is it assumed that all single people are lonely, unhappy, and desperately trying to find love (or sex)? It’s all around us—online (Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Match, and now Tinder), TV reality dating shows (Bachelor/ette, Millionaire Matchmaker), married people feeling sorry for singletons on Valentine’s Day, etc. etc.

Well, let me be the first single woman to say it: I am completely content being single. I have no desire to date or be in a relationship. After The Break Up, I spent years recovering from the devastating loss and healing my heart. It was not easy, but I learned to be comfortable being alone and even enjoy it. I have also accepted the possibility that I may never be in a relationship again, and I’m ok with that. I will be happy regardless. Because I do not need a man to complete me. I am a whole person all by myself. I am a strong woman. If I am meant to be with someone, it will happen. But I don’t need to live my life looking for it, or even wanting it.

That’s what my single friends who are frustrated or sad about not finding anyone through dating websites don’t understand. They’re not ready to be in a relationship because they aren’t comfortable being alone. They need to take “time off” and learn to be comfortable and accept being in their own skin without having the need or desire to be with anyone.

It’s International Women’s Day on March 8. Be strong. Be single.