art, books, drinking, friends, photography

more wine, vicar?

i don’t know . . . but i sure feel tense lately.

i just started 2 online courses to complete my (neverending) degree in Psychology. having lost two beloved pets last month and the subsequent emotional adjustment left me a little sapped. work has been wearing on me a little and i am STILL slightly sick . . .

but mostly just sick of not having enough time to just sit here
and write
and draw
and sing
and drink
and dance
and sleep
and pet the cats
and take pictures
and scribble
and glue shit together
and create
and laminate
and get paid for it.

so to make myself feel more at ease (and to keep the cold at bay) – i fried up some pierogies filled with potatoes and cheese in butter and warmed up some drinking chocolate sent to me from the UK courtesy of a dearly missed friend, re-read a sympathy card for Miles from another missed friend in Detroit, also named Andrea, stared at my clown fish, the sweeping fan feeders and the little purple hairy ghost crab that inahbits the nano-reef i have in my office, snatched up both cats for a kiss and a cuddle, listened to some old Steeley Dan, wandered DA for some inspiration, slathered up in some lavender lotion and donned some soft pajama bottoms, which i should now waste your time/amuse you by describing:

these newly beloved pajama pants are cream colored with fuschia cats all over them. the cats have big heads, tiny bodies and a little curlique for a tail. they have hearts for eyes and interspersed in the places where cats do not reside, there are tiny chocolate, caramel, and fuschia colored hearts and the word “kitten” right side up and upside down all over in between the hearts. they sit low on the waist and have this really cool japanese, flare and overlapping fabric trimminng detail at the ankles. if i never have to get out of these pants that would be just fine with me.

soon now – i should find myself curled up with actual kittens pressed against my kitten pajamas, jacked into my iPod listening to Douglas Adams read his book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for the bazillionth time. (by the way, interestingly enough, if you simply type the word “hitchhiker” into GOOGLE, you get a whole lotta Adams.

i have a box of photos i intend to begin sorting through to and transferring them into 2 large leather books. there is everything from me coloring Easter eggs to my high school graduation and far beyond. i find something amusing in the photos that others take of me – in most of them, i am holding a wine glass.

Well, i suppose i will do what the HHGTTG says, “DON’T PANIC,” keep a towel handy, and drink plenty of fluids . . .

“The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. ”

and perhaps it is time to unwind with some stellar bevvies 🙂

in the meantime, i’ll be over at Marcy’s place in the afternoon, setting up a wireless network, which i’m sure will require at LEAST a bottle of wine.

in pre-emptive celebration, i will leave you with a funny bit about fine ladies gone out drinking . . .

Women’s 19 clues to calling it a night
you know it’s time to go home when …

1.  You have absolutely no idea where your shoes are.

2.  You’ve just had to get someone to help you pull your pants up in the ladies room.

3.  You suddenly decide you want to kick someone’s ass.

4.  In your last trip to “pee” you realize you look more like Tammy Faye Baker than the goddess you were just four hours ago.

5.  You drop your 3:00 a.m. burrito on the floor, pick it up and carry on eating.

6.  You start crying.

7.  There are less than three hours before you’re due to start work.

8.  You’ve found a deeper side to the office nerd.

9.  The man you’re flirting with used to be your 5th grade teacher.

10. The urge to take off articles of clothing, stand on a table and sing becomes strangely overwhelming.

11.  You’ve forgotten where you live.

12.  You’ve started to sound like Jessie Ventura from the cigarettes you’ve smoked, because (as you’ve mentioned like 10 times by now) you only smoke when you drink.

13.  You yell at the bartender, who (you think) cheated you by giving you just tonic, but that’s just because you can no longer taste the gin or vodka.

14.  You think you’re in bed, but your pillow feels strangely like pizza.

15.  You start every conversation with a booming, “Don’t take this the wrong way but…”

16. You fail to notice that the toilet lid’s down when you sit on it.

17. Your sloppy hugs begin to resemble wrestling take-down moves.

18. You’re tired so you just sit on the floor (and why not!).

19. You show your friends that girls CAN pee standing up, if they really try.

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.


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.


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

friends, pets, photography, writing

Mr. Miles – Eulogy for a Cat

Swing with Miles

November 28th, 2001 – October 29th, 2004

Miles, my beloved cat, was struck and killed by a car on a warm Friday evening. He was a snow-spotted Bengal, a mix of an Asian Leopard and domestic short-haired Egyptian Mau. Miles was an incredibly soft, most beautiful and unusual cat who insisted on going outside – there was no keeping him in . . . or lots of howling would ensue. He was most happy frolicking through the woods and returning home to sleep next to my belly, nap on my desk as i worked in the day time, and generally, bring me great joy and laughter with his wonderful personality and affection. He always came when I called him; he even said his own name. “Miles!” i would call, high-pitched so it sounded like “mile” and he would call back “reee-err ” in a tone that sounded precisely the way i did. He kept calling all the way up as he trotted closer to home.

Miles was named for a character (Miles Naismith Vorkosigan) a character from science-fiction writer, Lois McMaster Bujold. Like the character, my Miles was smallish but hyperactive and brilliant. A funny, feisty, handsome little hellraiser.

Miles was my 2002 New Year’s Day Present to myself. i made a lot of money the night before and it was going towards this new little friend i desperately needed, as i lived mostly alone and missed my other cat, Pixel. I had picked Miles out from a litter of all females who were gold-spotted before he was old enough to be separated from his mother. Miles was the only white kitten in the litter and he seemed shy at first, a little skittish and ghostly. When i brought him home with me on the 20th of January, he hid under the bed for a few days and eventually came around. Once he did, he had a magnificent personality, became very social and very sweet.

Miles traveled extremely well. He was a fantastic co-pilot, sleeping in my lap when we went for car rides or on the passenger seat when he became too large for my lap. People would smile and wave at him when he looked out the window and drive-thru service was always entertained by the calm cat in the seat where a person should be.

When *OmarcyMe and i lived together, her cat Azul and Miles were fast friends. They played together, ate together, slept together and grew very close. Once i took Miles to see Brooks and Pixel for the week and Azul was so distraught and angry he peed all over my mattress. As soon as Miles returned – the urination problem stopped. Miles went through his heat cycle before he got fixed while we lived there and you wouldn’t believe the racket such a small cat could make. He was always incredibly vocal.

Miles always made the funniest noises as a kitten. He had a terrific vocabulary and you often knew what he was doing or what he wanted when he said things. He would eat his food and be so pleased he would talk with his mouth full. Rowr rowr rowr! Mew mew rowr! Once i picked him up when he was eating and he made this growling sound and so I whispered “growl growl growl” in his ear. From then on when anyone picked him up and asked him to growl or if he was actually content, he would make that noise. He meant nothing mean by it at all. Once i accidentally stepped on him, and instead of hissing or yelping, he made this little spitting, explosive sound that sounded part stunted meow, part like someone throwing a water balloon against the wall. SPRAK! Sprak, (pronounced ‘rack’ with an ‘sp’) became the word for Miles’ irritation. As in: “Where’s Miles?” “Oh – he’s out in the living room spraking around.”

Miles was a very tactile kitty and we had many names for all the games we played. He liked to be held like a baby and have the top of his head scratched in such a way that my fingers were like a little rake against his head. We called it “brain tickle.” We played a game where i’d point at him and he’d come up and rub his nose against my finger. This was called “noser noser noser.” When he’d rub against me i’d call him Mr. Nice and say “mmmmmmm.” * OmarcyMe taught him to crawl under the covers and get warm and snuggle in. Miles still nudged me in the morning, even after *OmarcyMe and i no longer lived together. i would lift the blankets up like a tent, tell him to “get into the cave” and he would crawl in and turn around, becoming a “purr-monster.”

Miles went by a few names of endearment: Mile, Mr. Miles, Tiny, Tiny Stench, Mr. Stink, Baby Kitty, Kittyhead, and he answered to all of them. i am deeply saddened that i will not be able to call out any of those names and have my dear cat answer.

When Brooks and i settled in for the night, Pixel always lay at his feet and Miles at mine. i will miss that little bit of habit and synchronicity, as i will miss seeing Miles’ little head show up late at night meowing silently at me from the outside of our front door glass, waiting to be let in. i will miss my little study buddy perched atop my office desk at home on a little grey blanket, covered in shimmery white fur; a place i had to create, moving two printers apart so he had somewhere to sleep and be near me. This was called “the spot,” and when Miles sat directly in front of the monitor, i would tell him, “get in your spot, Miles,” and he would jump up and lay down there, his tail hanging over the side sometimes. He would crawl up the wooden staircase to our loft and sit on the door ledge just over my closet, nearest to my side of the bed, looking over me as i fell asleep or was just waking up, high up surveying the area and me looking at his little silhouette. i will miss that small, pale silhouette.

i am thankful that Brooks’ brother, Jesse found Miles. He was just up the road from our mailbox, looking like he was heading to run out into the field to play. It would break my heart to NOT know where my cat was; hurt, stolen, suffering, lost, never to be recovered and having to bear that uncertain pain every day. Miles didn’t even look scathed: nothing broken, nothing inside turned outside, just his mouth, a little blood. Smaller, colder, heavier somehow. He must’ve been dashed, almost missed, hit his head and suffered little, which i can also be grateful for.

i spent some time holding Miles, smelling the top of his sweet head, stroking his small, golden nose and pink ears before i chose a place for him. Miles was gently wrapped in silver velveteen, shimmering and soft as he was, and as a final labor of love, we dug a large deep place for him near the house where i can look over the deck and see where he is. i chose a medium size triangular stone – heart-shaped, like his face as a grave marker.

The loss of a pet is so immediate and sharp. i wanted Miles to grow old and silly and crotchety with me some, but it seems our time was deemed so very short, cut off really, nearly three years. Was that time purposeful? Was this some horrible accident that could’ve been avoided? Could i have kept him in and not let him slide out the door past me with my arms full, stop and collect him, put him back inside? Would he have missed that passing car? Would time and fate have allowed him to come home again? This is where we are now in the awful, hurtful, surreal, unfair real, and i cannot torture myself with the what-ifs and could’ve beens and all the alternate endings. He was taken from me by some terrible, stupid accident that i could not have foreseen or prevented. At first i thought the world has something to punish me with, what have i done, what lesson am i supposed to be learning? But i know the world doesn’t quite work that way. i was just as blindsided by his death as i’m certain he was.

Miles followed me, trusted me, loved me, and i would’ve done anything to protect, love and endear myself to that darling animal. He was adored and cared for, more than some other creatures who get destroyed will ever know and i must take those thoughts to my heart as solace. This kind of loss serves to remind us all how important it is to love all the people and creatures close to us. To keep your anger, fear and argument to a minimum so that you can appreciate the joy that is brought by caring for some small thing unconditionally who returns your love in its own measure.

i have been wrecked for days now. My eyes swollen, my body tense and aching. Sleeping in excess and eating in small amounts. Writing this has made me think on things that were/are beautiful about coming to know such a unique creature. i feel the absolute need to reflect, to acknowledge all those memories and to share them in pictures and words so i can remember Miles in the best way i know how. As family, as companion, and as best friend.

i appreciate those of you who take the time to read this, who have pets that are dear to you, who know and understand through my photos how very deeply i feel for all things small and sentient and who take these reflections to your own place and remember above all – it is vitally important to love and be loved in return, at all costs.

For even as i am cleaved open, with this deep wound, i become ready to receive and to love again.

rainy day blues

Goodbye, Mr. Miles