Friday, December 30, 2016

Help I'm Alive

There's been a lot of this going on over the holidays - by "this", I mean both sleeping, and shielding myself from what is going on in the outside world.  The deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds a mere 24 hours apart was a terrible shock. Fisher had always been fiercely vocal about her battle with mental illness, and I greatly admired her for that, and Debbie, well, she was Debbie Reynolds.  "Singin' in the Rain" has always been one of my favourite films.

I got new eyeglasses from Old North Optometry.  The shape is different from what I've had in the last few years and I loved the colours used in the stripes on the frame.

In a sudden burst of creative inspiration, I made this necklace from some Dollar Store Christmas ornaments and a choker purchased at a street market in London, England, many years ago.   I wore it over to Heather and Travis' for Christmas dinner.

After said dinner (pork enchiladas), we had some messy good fun decorating a batch of Pusheen the cat cookies that our friend Lola had made that morning.  Apparently, I can be as detail-oriented in my cookie decorating as I am in many other aspects of my life, as evidenced by my blue and green polka dot cookie in the upper right, compared to many of the less-detailed abstract ones the others created.  In the bottom right corner is Heather's Christmas tree topper, which her husband found at Halloween.  A good bat skeleton should definitely be displayed more than once a year.

I spent a day in Stratford visiting my mother, and found some time to do a bit of shopping for myself which included the book and paper dolls above.  I loved making my own paper dolls when I was a kid, and the outfits in this particular book are fantastic.  There may or may not have also been the purchase of a couple of dresses, but you'll have to wait to see those.

Sylvester has made himself very much at home, and as to be expected, I have fallen completely in love with him.  His days are filled with eating, sleeping, belly rubs, and playing with his beloved Cat Dancer.

I found it easier to get through the holidays by listening to my inner voice which says it's ok to feel sad, and stay home with a book or a movie, instead of forcing myself to be social and pretend I enjoy the chaotic food and shopping frenzy that so many people embrace at this time of year.  I hope you all had moments of peace and joy to balance out the stress and anxiety that often comes with the season. 2016 has been a devastating year for many people and I am wishing for a brighter 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

And Then a Black Cat Crossed My Path....

As I mentioned in my last post, it was my 55th birthday in November, and as a present to myself, I had planned to spend a day in Toronto, but then, on the weekend before my birthday.....

this happened....

This is Sylvester - my new roommate

Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already been subjected to photos, (and a couple of videos) of him, but I wanted to wait until we had lived together for a least a month before posting about him here.  

For those of you who are wondering what happened to my dear rats, Ginger and Ruby, all I can say is that I loved them as much as I could, for as long as I could.   I was not planning to get another pet any time soon, especially when I was so sick the past year, partly from allergy-related illnesses.  The plan was to wait until I was no longer working full time, and then look into adopting a small, hypo-allergenic dog from a shelter.   Of course, as I love all animals,  I snuggle any dog or cat I meet up with, regularly peruse the websites of the local animal rescue organizations, and visit the cats up for adoption at the my closest PetSmart.   I want them all to find good homes, but I hadn't been sufficiently charmed by any one in particular to want to adopt one.   While my heart is set on having a dog at some point in the future,  I have always liked cats, and have lived with them when I was in my 20's and early 30's.  Some cats trigger my allergies, some don't.   

The weekend before my birthday PetSmart hosted an adoption event, and Heather and I decided to go look at the cats, as they bring in additional ones for these events.  There was a very large (he weighs 17 pounds), 6 year old black cat in one of the cages, and when I approached him, he lay down, showing off his belly and white bikini-bottom, and stuck his paw outside the bars of the cage.  I've always had a soft spot for black cats, and was intrigued enough to ask for a meet and greet outside his cage in the staff washroom during which he proved to be very sociable and affectionate.  I stuck my face right into his fur to check for an allergic reaction, and to my delight, there was nothing (it usually happens pretty fast).  Heather and I went to get lunch and discuss the pros and cons of my taking on the responsibility of owning a cat, and before long, I was completing the necessary paperwork and handing over $150.  Back at my apartment, I let Sylvester (he came with the name) out of the cat carrier and he promptly lay down on my living room floor.   No hiding, no freaking out. He knew he was home.

He follows me around the house, and sometimes acts more like a dog than a cat.   He is a very good boy who talks ALL the time.  I wish that for just one hour, once a week (or month, or year), we and our pets could speak the same language so I could learn about his life before me, but then again, maybe I wouldn't want to know.   

It's nice to have something else to photograph aside from me - he's an excellent model.  He loves being brushed, and his fur is very thick and shiny.

Profile shot

The couch has become his primary lounging spot - as it's only a loveseat, there is barely enough room for the two of us.  Everyone that has been over to meet him has been smitten.  He likes everyone and LOVES being petted and having his belly rubbed.

The living room floor has become a minefield of cat toys - the Cat Dancer is his favourite thing in the whole world, next to catnip, and me, of course. 

As these photos show, in addition to being very affectionate and well-behaved, he is also very handsome.    I promised myself I would not be dressing him up in undignified, uncomfortable, costumes, but when the pet store had all their Christmas items on sale, I couldn't resist this elasticized jester collar with bells and to my surprise, he was just fine with it.   Of course, any cat of mine would have an appreciation for dressing up!

So that's what I've been up to.   I know that many of the other bloggers I follow have cats, but what about you, are you a cat or a dog person?