Sunday, October 2, 2011

Take me down to Kitty City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty ...

I check my email in bed the second I commit to waking up. It's wretched sleep hygiene. The equivalent of washing one's face with a pepperoni pizza, or wiping back to front. But I like to know what I'm in for as I brace for the day. A shoe sale from Nine West? New fashions from Free People? A couple friends weighing in on a metaphor linking life with two cats to the bar scene in "Gremlins."

Today it is gobs of goodness. Jodi tells me that she has begun watching "Friday Night Lights," which is perfect because I can't wait to discuss my thesis topics: "Tim Riggins: The Pacey of a New Millennium" and "Dillon High School: How Come None of The Girls In This School Are Athletic?"

Chuck has also sent me two emails, tattling on the Gremlins we brought into our home through our own free will, though I've begun to rewrite history and imagine that we adopted them at gunpoint. It's the only way to explain it.  

The first email suggests that one of the demons has urinated on the main level of the house. "It was strong smelling when I walked in, and I can still smell it. I fear it is in the shoe closet." The second, subject "Cats Part 2" tells a story of cleaning the litter box for the first time in his life. A big clump falls out of the garbage bag. He goes to get our most vile broom to sweep it up and when he comes back downstairs Orin is inside the garbage bag taking a piss. "Dude. Can't you wait five minutes?" Chuck asked rhetorically. 

Speaking of five minutes: I'm about five minutes from cuffing these little monsters and hauling them off to juvie. Last night when I got home, they had upended another lamp. There is evidence that one of them did a canon ball into the upstairs toilet. They seem skilled as the art of parkour and have developed a taste for Bread records and delicious cords from Apple.


"Sometimes I think that I could just love kittens so hard, I'd squish them to death," JCrew tells me on the phone. "It's not the same as dogs."
I'm wandering through the grocery store looking for ingredients to make a crock pot dinner.
"They're more vulnerable. When you pick them up with one hand, you can feel their rib cage," I say.
Doing laps between the paper plates aisle and frozen foods.
"But do you have that, too? That kill them thing?" she asks.
"Oh yeah. Like, I might strap them into their car seats and drive into the ocean," I say.
"Or, today, I imagined kicking Orin across the room. My foot connecting with his belly, and like lofting him."
"And their necks are so tiny, sometimes when they're asleep I worry I might wrap my hands around their throats ..."
I go home and throw enchilada ingredients into the pot, plug it in, wait six hours.


There is something in my sock. It's like cutting into my my arch. A stray staple. The exoskeleton of a critter. Finally, when I'm sure I've drawn blood, I sit down and take off my shoe. I remove my sock halfway and find a thick rainbow-shaped chunk of toenail.

It reminds me of my dad. We always joked that his toenails would get so long, we could hear them clacking on the kitchen floor when he was barefoot. He squared them off when he cut them rather than styling half-moons. Used a scissors to groom "so I won't get an ingrown nail," he explained illogically.

How did a chunk of toenail get in my sock? It's a mystery. It's also, technically, a 50 percent chance it is mine. Math aside, there is a 100 percent chance it is mine. Frankly, when it comes to toenails, Chuck is much more fastidious. Me: I can go two months without even remembering that I have feet.


The only thing more fun than busting through five seasons of "Friday Night Lights" is having Jodi bust through it at the same time. She's keeping me apprised of her viewing on Google+ and I'm responding to questions and comments like "Who is Buddy Garrity, anyway?" and "I think I hate Lyla."

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that watching TV in 2011 is really amazing, between the ability to consume reams of episodes in a single sitting, really pushing your investment in the characters, and the ability to connect quickly and efficiently with other viewers. It's a good time to be alive with eyeballs.


I drive to the point of the city that is almost furthest from our house just to get an Everything Bagal with a disc of microwaved egg product, cheddar cheese and bacon. At the drive through window, my order is taken by a man with a hilarious Irish accent. It's all very Lucky Charms.

"Is that accent real?" I ask the girl who hands me my delicious meal.
She shakes her heads sadly.
"I didn't think so," I mouth.


The kittens need a scratching post. They seem to think they have been hired on to demolish the carpeting on the stairs and sharpen their hooks on Chuck's record collection. At Target I find something called Kitty City, which is like a Tinker Toys collection of pipes, surfaces and scratching posts that can be easily added to for a complex arrangement of amusements for your pet.

I'm assembling this when JCrew and Seadawg stop by to meet the kitties.

JCrew loves animals. Like, italics on the love part, loves them. Case in point: She's recently returned from a trip to Ireland and about every other photograph stars sheep.

She takes them one at a time, holding them high in the air like they are her newborn nephews. Lets them wiggle free and drop to the floor. She cackles and chases them to the stairs. They don't even put on half of the show they are capable of, but it is enough to get the point across: These dudes are whack.


Chuck isn't thrilled with Kitty City. He imagines they'll use it as a step stool to reach higher points of our house. He was more interested in a scratching post than a village. But the cats like it. They bat at the dangling balls filled with bells, they hop from surface to surface, attacking each other.

"Just think of it this way," I tell him. "Every second they spend in Kitty City is another second spent not wrecking our shit."

This he can agree on.

Later in the night, Hal will invent a trick where he starts at the top of the steps, sprints down, leaps into the tent on the bottom level of Kitty City, sending the whole structure skidding a few inches across the floor. He leaps out, does it again and again until he has moved it about seven feet.

Orin, meanwhile, is sprawled out on one of the upper surfaces enjoying the ride. A king that is carried around by his minions.


Chuck has the night off, so we go to the symphony. We get the cheap seats up in the balcony, so high up  it feels like I'm spying on the orchestra rather than watching the orchestra. This is a nice opportunity to sit in the dark and listen to nice music. It's like soul yoga.


Back home. Back to "Friday Night Lights." We watch back-to-back-to-back episodes until 6 a.m. when I read a few pages of "Sophie's Choice" and then conk out.


feisty said...

Kittens sound worse than kids as far as cleaning up goes. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Tyra joins the volleyball team in season 2.

Christa said...

Yeah. But Tyra joins the volleyball team because the rest of the girls on the team act like they are afraid they're going to get hit in the face.