food, friends, music, photography

Fancy That

:::
– wrap yourself around
the Tree of Life
and the Dance of the Infinity
of the Hive –

:::

On Sunday, Marcy and our new found photographer friend, Andrew, went to a CFA Cat Show. This was an interesting affair consisting of gorgeous felines in various elaborately decorated “cages,” some with sequined fabric, lace, silk, and pictures of the breed and/or brood they hailed from. The cats were called into several “rings” where they were judged by categories, classifications, placed on a light box stage, petted, stroked, pulled at lightly to gauge length, eye color, fur and coat markings, then lightly taunted with a feather toy of sorts to check for playful/friendly disposition as they were commented on and declared a winning place. This was not to be mistaken with a dog show, where the animals demonstrate not only beauty, grace, and breed superiority through training and performance. This was a collection of spoiled, pretty kitties.  An interesting subculture of people to be sure . . . and the license plates in the parking lot.

i am not one to talk so much . . . i own show cats. And allow me to bore you with show considerations for my Bengal kitties . . . Pixel is not fit for show because he is too close to the wild (he is an F-2, they must be F-4 and beyond to be considered for show.) The Bengal cat is the result of a breeding between the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and the domestic cat. Some of the early felines used in these matings include Egyptian and Indian Maus, Burmese and non-pedigreed domestic cats. As the breed progressed, SBT Bengals were taken back to the ALC instead of the miscellaneous other breeds. When you hear reference to Bengals by a number following the letter F, this refers to the number of generations removed from the nearest Asian leopard cat in the Bengal’s lineage or pedigree. An F-1, for example, has an Asian leopard cat for a parent; therefore, this Bengal is one generation away from the nearest ALC. F-1 through F-3 Bengals are often also referred to as “Filial/Foundation” Bengals, to differentiate them from F-4 and beyond, which are considered the true domestic purebred Bengals. And lastly TICA (The International Cat Association recognizes Bengals, whereas the CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) does NOT. Odin is somewhere in the F-9 area, and he has papers – but i’ll never show him. As Marcy pointed out . . . Odin may be beautiful, but as the owner, i do not meet the minimum weight requirement. Besides, i’m not sure how i feel about the self-indulgence of animal competition and pet pageantry – i don’t even think it’s good for humans.

March has been a dismal month for income at the restaurant, for photograph sales and for extra paid projects otherwise. i may have to turn tricks soon or consider escort service.  And then there’s that $750 income tax bill i owe, plus estimated tax installments.  i finally went grocery shopping, and what a treat that was! i am always a bit disconcerted when i get under that hellish fluorescent light and am served up the piped in elevator tunes while perusing the frozen food section: Elton John (post Bernie Taupin) Whitney Houston ballads, and various awful, forgettable 70’s tunes. i was briefly grateful when i heard Norah Jones. Some odd signs of the apocalypse hit me as i was there, however.

😐 Easter Eggs. Already boiled, dyed and in the clear carton by the 8s, so you can save yourself the bother of coloring them yourself . . . which was always the FUN part!

😐 Pre-packaged pancakes. Already cooked, fluffy and beige, smashed in plastic like a stack of Oscar Mayer bologna. Is it that fucking difficult to make pancakes? i mean – they even have the kind where you JUST ADD WATER!

😐 The sheer VOLUME of items marked “CARB” anything: carb-free, low-carb, carb-considerate. Atkins, you fat ass – fuck YOU and your CARBS!

i wish his empire would’ve crumbled with his death. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets have been criticized by major health organizations including the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, and the American Kidney Fund. Low-carbohydrate diets push dieters to avoid healthy foods, like rice, beans, and pasta, while ignoring the risks of high-cholesterol, high-fat meat and cheese, which also lead to heart disease, kidney problems, reduced sex drive, bone loss and cause for a worrying increase in the problem of constipation, a key factor in causing bowel cancer.

My conclusion? Keep ALL my carbohydrates in my muffins, bagels, snack foods, and for certain – in my god damned ice cream. Good Carbs have not been processed and contain a fair amount of fiber. These food types include oatmeal, whole grain bread, legumes, vegetables, fruit, and sugar-free whole grain cereals. Supposedly Bad Carbs have been processed (or refined). These food types include white bread, white pasta, rice, ice cream, candy, and soda. Oh well – i like the good, the bad AND the ugly. i like FOOD!  but bring it to me unaltered and unadulterated.

Also over the weekend – and speaking of food and exercise . . . it was my friend Sara’s birthday. Everyone arranged a Mexican/Spanish spread of food for her, including plantains, enchiladas, stuffed avocados, beans and an ice cream cake. Everyone had to submit to temporary tattoos, and so i opted for a star above my belly button, a la Star-bellied Sneetches “Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches / Had bellies with stars / The Plain-Belly Sneetches / Had none upon thars” (And you ALL had better know what i’m talking about or seek out Dr. Seuss, promptly.) My star-belly raised Brooks’ eyebrows as i got ready for bed later.

Sara wore brown, knee high, leather boots and a jean skirt and 3 flower tattoos down her calf. In the back of her boots and in her back pocket, she stuffed a few maracas. Whenever she swayed her hips, shook a leg or her groove thang (her ‘ass,’ for the uninitiated), she rattled. We ate and drank and then went out dancing. i requested “Domino” by Van Morrison from a locally loved guitar player/singer duo and the dance party ensued. Before we knew it we were swing dancing, spinning, and getting kinda funky . . . until the lights came on. Then it was back to Sara’s friend’s house for some discussion on Art History, Goddess mythology, and hula-hooping in the front yard.

it is certainly, in a month for adverse weather, poor income, and strange fancies – a blessing to have good cats, good food, good friends, good music, and a good camera to capture it all.

friends

cat mornings, friendship, orange

Sometimes, I don’t like getting up in the morning. Correction. I do NOT get up in the morning, I rise in the early afternoon. Morning for me is 10am to 11am. Anything prior to that and I am either sleeping, or some kind soul is cooking up a mean breakfast in the kitchen that has roused me and my hunger. Or—if especially cunning . . . someone has appealed to my joy of cooking nature by conjuring act, seduction, or sweetness and I am making a tall stack of pancakes, towering like fluffy beige clouds.

Pixel and Odin have taken to waking me up the morning now at 8am, like clockwork every day. But let me back up first. When we all go to bed at night, Pixel curled up in between Brooks’ legs and I, resting on the crook of his arm as he reads and i listen to my iPod, Odin curls around the top of my head, his paws kneading my head and ponytail softly, purring, making my pillow a delight to lay on (though he can be a little hog) and all is pleasant and right with the world. We fall asleep like this, the four of us.

Then I wake up to different creatures in the morning.

First with Pixel scratching at the towering pile of books on Brooks’ nitestand, pulling them down with intermittent ruffle-thumps, while Odin dives under the blanket to get a better bite on our toes. Then Pixel takes to my side of the bed, leaps up onto my nightstand and sits directly on my alarm clock, tap-dancing on buttons until the correct one turns on my radio and it blares the morning music, which means I have to re-set my alarm clock. If this proves to be ineffectual, a crashing sound comes when he returns a few minutes later and pushes the alarm clock off the back of the nightstand. Meanwhile Odin is soft-paw scratching at the back of my bare arm which lies exposed outside of the blanket. If this doesn’t rouse me, it’s straight for the aerial tactics – he pounces directly onto my face and lands with both paws onto my closed eyelids, for added effect.

Sometimes I flail and yell a bit. More often than not, Icurse about interrupted sleep and the general nastiness of all things kitty. Occasionally cats fly like Peter Pan out the bedroom door get slammed out. This doesn’t deter them for long . . . the loft space above us is open and so they dangle from our closet and peek around from above and over the bed. Then the howling starts and paper chewing for the silly person who left bills or magazines or instruction manuals or cardboard boxes out—anywhere. Desperate measures call for cat sky-diving which will really scare the shit out of you, four eagle-talon spread claw-foots coming down to knock your wind clear out.

Then, whoever is more or less irritated, you HAVE TO get up and FEED THE CATS. And perhaps, if you are lucky, you can return to a couple more hours of blissful sleep until you have to be where you have to be.

But it was an especially nice night and a particularly eventful morning of cat acrobatics and i woke to some fresh yellow and white in the garden. Snow drops and some yellow crocus things. But they are calling for 5″ of snow late nite through mid-afternoon.

Spring is such a tawdry tease.

Well—that’s ok . . . some very nice things have been happening. Me and an old friend, Anne-Marie have reconnected and I am so glad to have her back.

When I lived in Detroit many years ago, had first met Brooks (online, which is yet another story) I also met Anne-Marie. It was a randomly created room called SSH (Stop Say Hello) on Yahoo! Chat, when that stuff was just getting started. She lived in Canada at the time and she was the first friend i met on the internet who i actually met in person. She drove a long way to see me so we could stomp around at some kitschy cool club in Detroit where the dance floor was like a train wreck—you didn’t necessarily like what you were seeing, but you couldn’t tear your eyes away either. Seems we played pool that nite, but my memory is such a blur from those days. Now that she has children and I am living on the coast, perhaps she can help fill those missing bits/years in.

family, nature, pets, photography

snuggling in . . .

here kitty . . .

i’m just as proud as a new mommy
and quick with draw of the camera too . . .

forgive me if i innundate you with photos of Odin.

Right now, he is snuggling my butt, i am sitting on the front edge of my office chair and he is parked behind me. i don’t know what will happen when he becomes too big for this practice. My right hand is a bit shredded and full of miniscule scratches and bites. Odin thinks i am his litter mate and this is the hand i use to taunt him with. He also likes to pounce on my face in the morning, and push his paw into my eye to see if i am ready to rouse. Wicked little thing . . .

Pixel, my other Bengal spent the last week looking out the front door, waiting for Miles to return, howling a little sad song he reserves for the departing of one of us – Brooks or i on the way out for the day. Pixel still comes to bed quite late, but he is adjusting.

Odin has tried to nurse Pixel (who is a BOY cat) and Pixel has tried to drag Odin around by the scruff as if it were his own. It’s really great to see the cats getting along, and i love waking up with them all piled together and sleeping on me.

speaking of – i am sleeping better, dreaming more, and finally eating.

the sky looks strange today . . . it has been warm the last week, unseasonable for November. but today has the look of winter: lemon yellow & pale grey skies. i bought an overabundance of soup, bread, butter and tea at the grocery store yesterday.

i think i will start hibernating . . . i have plenty of furry snuggle buddies.

smallish

family, pets, photography

the breath of life (smells like a kitten)

nose 2 nosea new small creature . . .

Brooks is a very wise man . . . he told me we could be miserable for 6 months and then get a new kitten, or we could get one now, and i could affix my love to some beautiful new creature.

We chose the latter.

A new life does not replace the old, but instead, fills the gaping wound left by my sweet Miles.

May i introduce, Odin.

Odin

this is but a quick introduction – more soon . . .