Friday, September 21, 2012

On Kitten-Gettin'


A coworker's cat had kittens. Lots and lots of kittens. They were adorable. And furry. And she became a Kitten Pusher. Although I am a Cat Person through and through, I have shied away from getting one for several years for many reasons, the biggest reason being that I am allergic to cats. Boo. But Ms. Kitten Pusher was quietly persistent. She texted me photos. She invited me over to play with them. And in the end, I brought a kitten home. 

I theorized that maybe this allergy to cats would relent if it was a kitten I could get used to. I had cats growing up and didn't have an issue being around them until I was in my twenties (strange, huh?). Ms. Kitten Pusher agreed to let me bring the kitten back to her if the allergies became unbearable. So, it was settled. I was finally getting a cat! At first I thought I might take the feisty-looking one above, second from the left.  The redhead. I named her Tippy Canoe and waited for her to hurry up and get old enough to bring home. But then we realized she was a he. And super aggressive. Feistier than we'd all imagined. I wanted a sweet cuddler, not a wild beast hell-bent on destroying my knickknacks (it's apparent I hadn't given a lot of thought to the nature of cats in general). So, I thought a little more. Ms. Kitten Pusher suggested the gray tabby second from the right. I agreed. We set a date. 

I wanted to pick up my new kitten at just the right time. I didn't want her to have to be all alone while I was at work, so the plan was to wait until the weekend so I could be home and the boyfriend would be around for moral and emotional support (trust me, I needed the emotional support...I got all "Am I equipped mentally to take care of another living thing? What if I make her life miserable?!" about it...this doesn't bode well for me having children if I got like this over a CAT). But then I got a wild hair and ran to the pet supply store after work one day. I picked up a litter box, litter, kitten food, cat toys, and a scratchy post. And a feather wand thinger. I was so ready for this. As I was driving to Ms. Kitten Pusher's, a sudden wild storm rose up, unleashing hail and thunder and gallons of rain. I had a mini panic attack, convinced this was a Sign. I forged ahead, Ms. Kitten Pusher put a kitten in a crate, and home we went.

who are you, and why are you talking to me like that?

You might guess what happened next. Nothing. She acclimated. She cried a bit at first but soon took to batting around her toys, peeing in the appropriate places, and following me around everywhere I went. It's been smooth sailing ever since. And that cat allergy? So far my theory has been correct.

loves sunny spots

It took some time to come up with the perfect name. I eventually decided on Tiger Lily. It fits her pretty well. Recently it's been shortened a bit to Tilly, which rolls off the tongue better when she's busy knocking over my houseplants. She is Such a Bad sometimes. At first she got into the habit of attacking me at night while I slept, and then she started burrowing under the covers in order to bite me more precisely. At this point, she's pretty good about letting me sleep, though yesterday she woke me up by running across my face multiple times. She tries to eat anything I'm eating and drink anything I'm drinking. One time, she shockingly ate pizza right off the boyfriend's plate while he was holding it. What a Bad.

Such a Bad.

Happily Ever After <3
 Overall, I am so happy I ended up taking her. She's a little snuggle beast, and who doesn't want one of those? Plus, she doesn't mind watching The Ghost Whisperer with me. Did I just admit to that? That will have to be a post for another day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mid-September Traditions

Oh, how I love the beginning of Autumn! Articles, tweets, and blog posts abound praising the high season of layering and the coziness of approaching winter. Fall feels like the beginning of a great cycle rather than the approach of the end of a year... I'll blame being raised in a "school year" for this. So we have fashion, cooler weather, football season, and-well!-Halloween on the brain.

I work in a creative atmosphere where we have a meeting every morning to discuss the day's business and tasks, with the additional interest of inspiring each in attendance. Yesterday morning I posed the question: What are your fall traditions? My crowd just looked at me. Sometimes, I can tell they think my thought process is kooky, and this was one of those times. It's still in the 90's here, so none of the "I broke out tights for the first time!" or "I took inventory of my sweater collection!" Also, traditions? As in...baking pie? Caroling??

Very late last year, I looked up and Christmas was over. I'd been so focused on work and grad school that I'd COMPLETELY MISSED the entire season of fall and, well, the holidays. They happened, I definitely dressed up for Halloween, ate a giant meal on Thanksgiving, and bought Christmas presents. But I didn't really FEEL it...I did not connect with the specialness of the season. This year I am committed to slowing down and really enjoying the "little's" of fall. Yesterday, I ate my first slice of pumpkin bread of the season. And today I dashed a little nutmeg into my coffee. I count these as mindful successes....:)

A list of other early-season traditions (some contributed by my team, who warmed quickly to my question after a bit of coaxing!)

-Decorate with pumpkins...sophisticated pumpkins. Our group cheered when one member mentioned that our grocer had "cinderella pumpkins" in stock!
-Craft a fall wreath! (one fun idea over here on A Beautiful Mess)
-Go to a high school football game (school colors, something with which to spike the hot chocolate, and pompoms optional)
-Tailgate! I'm not much for football and "my" team is going to have a dismal season, but hey! I love snacks and friends!
-Load up on tights (patterned, printed, opaque solids, tights over tights, knits...this season, mix it all up!)
-Make chili--my go-to is this sweet potato recipe!
-Order a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks...I decided yesterday I would wait until October 1 to tick this off the's all downhill after one! I am considering whipping up a substitute using almond milk and pumpkin pie spice...will let you know how this turns out...
-Start brainstorming your Halloween costume. Give yourself time to work out the amazing details so you can win that "Best Costume" prize...don't forget to work in an elastic waistband for that candy-eating contest...
-Knit yourself a turban ear-warmer! Or, have someone else provide the knitting..Cute! I'll be snapping up this lovely on payday for sure! I just love cold-weather accessories!
-Collect a stack of books for fall reading. I'll take suggestions on this one, if you've got them!
-Snag a new planner! This might be replacing my trusty moleskin when the time is right!
-Review your yearly resolutions, if you made any. How close are you to your goal? What have you accomplished? Choose the goals that are still relevant and make a plan to achieve them! And if you have to reset your goal date so it falls later than 12.31? It's okay. You can do it!
What are your little traditions? How are you celebrating fall this year?