Sunday, January 31, 2010

Learning to let go

I just realized that in combination with this picture of Thom at the vet, the blog title might seem quite dire...that's not the case.  At least I don't think so.

But I will start with the vet story.  I took the terrible twosome in for their annual oil change/tire rotation yesterday - something I dread for two reasons: it is very stressful for them, and financially stressful for me (I won't say how much it costs, but suffice it to say I could be supporting two children in a third world country for a year for less).
Vet trips are big productions - the catching (admittedly with Thomas, this part isn't that hard - he tends to hide ON things, bright spark that he is), the yowling trip to the vet, and Maggie's channeling of Freddie Kruger/rabid mountain lion as soon as the vet even looks at her don't make for a fun time.  And I don't blame Mags for protesting - there are needles (in the bladder as well - ugh) and other nastiness, including the most dreaded part of all - The Nail Trim, which Maggie seems to equate with the amputation of a limb.  It's equally terrifying for Thomas, but he just shuts down - the vet could wrap him in bandages and hang him upside down by his tail and he wouldn't complain.  But it doesn't mean he's enjoying himself.

So - it's stressful.  And I'm the one that brought them, so I should be The Enemy.

But as soon as we get home, and they are out of their cages, life immediately returns to normal.  They wander around surveying their world as per usual, even walking calmly back into the dreaded transport crates on their own, completely unphased by their recent trauma.  I'm not held accountable (at least I don't think so).  Cat-life goes on as normal.  Whatever horrors just happened, it seems like they've just let them go.

I had a difficult day at work Friday.  I'm not going into the details - it's a combination of the landscape changing in a way that I'm not looking forward to, a reminder that the "you can lead a horse to water" proverb is frustratingly true, and a few other disappointments and frustrations.   I've been carrying it around with me all weekend, but looking over at Thomas snoozing happily on the couch, I realize I've just got to let it go.

These are things that are out of my control.

Just let 'em go.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Goodbye Kate

Kate McGarrigle's death earlier this week really hit me.  It's kind of funny -   there are a lot of musicians that have been important to me and my little life that have passed on, but for some reason this one resonates more than most.  I don't know...maybe it is that there is something about Kate & Anna's music that feels so distinctly Canadian; I listen and I feel the crisp central Canadian winter, all mixed in with the warmth that their beautifully honest voices bring to everything they do.  Or in Kate's case, did.  I have had the good fortune to see the sisters perform a couple of times, and they were amazing - incredibly connected to each other, and in a bubble of their own, that's for sure - they were who they were, regardless of who was watching. 


Monday, January 11, 2010

There's an essay in there for someone who wants to write it....

I went to see a couple of really strong films this weekend - Tom Ford's A Single Man, starring Colin Firth (who is looking absolutely fantastic fyi) and Crazy Heart, the new Jeff Bridges film. Both films deal with broken men - one a gay English prof in 1962 California going through the motions of a life rendered meaningless by the sudden death of his long-term partner, the other a once famous musician now incapacitated by alcohol and the crash of his career (who knows exactly which came first). You couldn't get two more different men from the outside - Colin Firth's character lives a life of absolute order (and my god what a gorgeous life to look upon - well done, Tom Ford - and well done, cinematographer and art director whose names I am too lazy to look up); Jeff Bridges leads a life of absolute disorder (unless you can call keeping your jeans unbuckled so you can pee into a jug in your truck while you drive "order"), but in both instances potential salvation comes, perhaps predictably, through a human connection. Man - sorry, I try to avoid analysis of any sort on this blog, it requires too much brain work. Forgive me - but do go see the films (if you have to choose one, go to A Single Man)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Is this what you mean by "in situ"?

In situ being code for "under the cats".

It's in an awkward spot to take a good photo (my dining room is really more of a wide hallway than a dining room, and I have yet to get an overhead light so the lighting is a bit of an issue), but I will try, soon.  Thankfully, I LOVE IT!! And so do the cats, unfortunately.  The pillow you catch a glimpse of on the seat below Thomas is part of the temporary cat-repellant setup (a combo of books and pillows).  The issue with the chair seats is that they are a very coarse weave that the cats will inevitably get stuck to.   Potential solution suggestions (that don't involve cat foot-binding, tempting though that is) welcome!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Bunkle goes mid-century modern???


I am not at heart a danish modern fan (particularly not a teak fan) - but there was something about this rosewood table that just kind of felt right.  The grain and colour of the wood somehow goes back a lot further than the 60's, and the light, simple structure is kind of perfect for the very small space it will be placed in.   With leaves extended I will actually be able to seat ten.  TEN.  Better than the big fat zero I can currently seat ... and the little chairs are extremely comfortable - and come upholstered with fabric that the cats will LOVE destroying (nice coarse weave perfect for trapping cat claws).  Perfect.  I foresee more dinner parties, and more games nights, in 2010.

Anyway, the set arrives tomorrow.  Fingers crossed it will look like it belongs.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Sometimes I like to feel used.

I've been doing some cooking and things around the house today (Happy New Year by the way), under the watchful, slightly withering gaze of Miss Mags.   She doesn't get as much copy on this blog as Thomas does - quite honestly, it is because Thom is so ridiculous looking, and so damn easy to photograph.  When Thomas sees the camera, he will start to purr and roll around.  Maggie - not so much.  She will immediately glare and vacate the area - UNLESS she is putting on her uber-sweet, needy kitty act to try to get something out of me (food).  Sucking up is a skill all cats have, but some are better at it than others.

And this is the joy of Maggie.  Unlike the sweet-natured (and slightly gormless) Thomas, she makes you work for it.  She has rules.  It doesn't mean she doesn't like hanging around with me - well, at least I assume so because she is usually lurking where ever I am when she is awake - but it also means she reserves the right to look slightly miserable while doing so (anyone with a teenager, or who has ever been a teenager, will know the look).  I know a lot of cat lovers that avoid female cats - they are commonly thought to be more intelligent and bit more...difficult... at least in comparison to the male of the species (why does that sound familiar?)  But somehow, that makes them all that much more interesting.