Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Everything I know about cats—for Julia

Disclaimer: I’m not a vet. Always listen to your vet over anything I say.

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they can’t really digest grains or fruit and that their entire diet needs to be meat. This link takes you to an article on PetMD and here's a quote from the article:
The cat cannot sustain its life unless it consumes meat in some form.
Cats are also actually lactose-intolerant. While they will drink milk, they shouldn’t.

Vitamin D capsules are deadly for cats. At least one of mine loves those capsules so if you take vitamin D, don’t let your kitties near them (just in case).

Not all cats like cat nip. It’s sort of like cilantro—some people love the taste, others think it tastes like soap. All three of my current kitties love nip but I’ve had others just look at it and walk away.

In the wild, cats get most of their water from eating their prey (mice, birds etc.). So drinking water isn’t their first preference and cats tend to not drink enough. This is especially true for male cats, who can end up with kidney issues. I use a CatIt fountain, and it’s made a real difference in how much water they drink.

Cats are territorial but it’s different from the way dogs are. Dogs will have a spot they consider theirs and that spot doesn’t change. Cats will have areas and they’ll shift their spots. Some prefer to climb (Wally is our big climber right now) and others just want a soft, warm spot to curl up on.

You can (and should) trim your kitty’s nails. Start doing it now when they are kittens and it will be no big deal for them.

Cats are also crespucular, which means they are most active at twilight, morning and evening. That's why you may get demands to get up and play, or feed or generally interact with your kittens.

Cats scratch. Some scratch horizontally and some prefer to scratch vertically. We have this “lounger” that all three love, and there are lots of other scratching pad/post options out there.

Hope that helps!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December's cat--last one!

My mother has given me lots of really cool cat calendars over the last 15 years or so. She inadvertently created a tradition for me with the first one, which was of cats in Greece. The light there is so incredible and of course when you add in cats, it's just that much better.

That photographer either moved on from cats or else the publisher stopped publishing them. So Mom found another line of cat calendars which I also enjoyed. But as I mentioned way back in January, this calendar is the best of all because my mom either took the photos herself in Greece or else friends /family gave them to her just for this calendar.

Normally I recycle my calendars but this one is one I'm going to keep. Thank you, Mom, this calendar has been amazing.

Here's December:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Thanksgiving visit

So Google is both creepy and helpful. Creepy because it created this video and helpful because it created this video.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016


I voted by mail two weeks ago. I hope you've already voted, or will make the time today.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November's kitty

I find looking at cats far more enjoyable than reading all the political rantings and ravings online. And this cat is especially soothing.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

About fashion, clothing and me

In the last six weeks, I’ve read the following:

There’s a slow fashion movement going on that urges us to only purchase clothing that can be worn 30 or more times. Obviously, if your clothes are going to be worn that many times, they can’t wear out. So equally obviously, most fast fashion items won’t make the cut.

I think the part that’s missing from all of this is the emotional component. Thinking back over my clothing purchase over my lifetime, need is almost never the driver. In my 20s, I shopped like a good little consumer because all the media influences in my life suggested that shopping was a worthwhile activity (almost like a hobby) or because of the thrill of the hunt. Never mind that I didn’t need what I was hunting, the thrill was still there.

I’m not the only one who’s felt that way. Most of the people I know have done much the same thing. If we are very honest about what’s needed in our closets, I think we’d all agree that we don’t actually need anything.

But again, shopping for clothes every year or every fashion season is also part of how we fit in. Every year, Pantone announces the color of the year and boom! All of last year’s clothing in last year’s color of the year look dated and frumpy (here's the colors for right now). Same thing with the cut of pants or blouses or coats. Think about bell bottom jeans from the 70s, or the 80s peg leg jeans. Sure, you can find variations on those themes but they don’t look the same and the older versions look dated.

Case in point—the unfortunately named pussy bow blouse. I remember those in the 80s, when Margaret Thatcher wore them. They were practically the essential piece for women in business back then. They’re back now but the lines are subtly different and for sure the shoulders are cut differently. If you wore one of the 1980s ones today, you’d look strange.

Lots of bloggers who are far more articulate than I am have talked about capsule wardrobes that end up being uniforms. Some like it, some don’t (I fall on the “like it” side myself).  I suspect those who don’t like the idea of a uniform end up feeling constricted and confined at the thought that their clothing would be so similar, day in and day out.

Which brings me to my last thought. A month or so ago, I read an article about food and eating; the article said something about how people generally fall into one of two camps: those who like to have really full bellies (think post-Thanksgiving dinner) and those who don’t. I wonder if clothing falls into the same sort of grouping. Maybe the people with super stuffed closets and lots and lots of shoes absolutely love that full feeling.

This entire train of thought was sparked the day my son was deployed. I’ve lost a fair amount of weight this year (not on purpose, it’s from stress). Almost everything in my closet was way too big, unwearably big. I can’t even describe the mental burden of all that stuff—every time I opened the closet to get dressed, there they all were bugging the daylights out of me. But I felt obligated to keep them and make them work somehow; I felt so much guilt at the idea of purging those clothes.

The day Ben deployed, I was a mess. I needed to feel some control somewhere in my life so I purged my closet. Weird, I know. But I was careful as I did it. I do have a uniform of sorts, I have items that no matter what I will always repurchase:

  • Jeans
  • A white fitted shirt
  • Sweaters
  • A black skirt
  • Black dress pants
  • Some sort of geometric black pants (current iteration is checks, the one I saved is diamonds)

I kept those in a plastic bin under my bed. I kept the underwear that’s too big, and the bras too. Also the workout gear (running clothes mostly). All of those are things I have no matter what size I am. And I felt peaceful about the whole thing. I also realized that I’m one of those people who doesn’t like the super full belly after a meal, nor do I like a super full closet. Instead, I want everything in there to work for me right now, to fit me today.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

All the way from Glengerry, Victoria

Which is in Australia.

I fell down the Etsy rabbit hole a couple of weeks ago, sparked by a blog post about patterns and capsule wardrobes best suited for traveling. I have more to say about that in another blog post, but for now I wanted to share the three patterns I got and how amazing it is to me that I could look online at vintage patterns that were the right size and reasonably priced—in Glengerry, Victoria, Australia!—and have them show up in my mail box not two weeks later.

It’s a small world, after all.

Here are the patterns (yes, the last one is most definitely a child of the 80s, don’t say anything mean about it, I love it and can’t wait to make it up):