My Assistant Refuses to Get My Coffee

June 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

My assistant has been helping me more than usual lately.

Indiana Mousekowitz

Researching names.
Making lists, and lists, and more lists.
Researching swings and mats and carriers.
Writing notes, reading books, making more lists.
Researching complications, and slapping laptops shut.
Heaving sighs, sipping tea, waiting for ‘House Hunters’ to start.

All the books say, “spend time with your pets!”
In a few months, I hope she’ll remember these, entire afternoons.
Friday nights, Saturday nights, Sunday nights.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Attention, attention, and more attention.

Of course, not all of the attention has been exactly the kind of attention
she probably wanted.

Indiana Mousekowitz in a Dress

Happy 10th Birthday

May 5, 2009 § 1 Comment

Indiana Mousekowitz turns 10 today. My gift to her was spending the entire day on the couch, my lap available whenever she wanted to snooze on me, my hands available whenever she wanted some petting. I think she figured out, though, that I’ve been at home and on the couch non-stop for five days straight now, because she’s starting to ask what else I got her.

Indy’s usual perch, directly above where I’m resting (so she can keep an eye on me) and directly below a floor lamp (so she can stay toasty warm).

In honor of her birthday, I’m going to share the letter I wrote to the local humane society where I adopted her. I’d been meaning to write it for years and years, and I finally sent it off to them a few weeks ago — 10 years seems like a nice time to have finally checked it off the list.

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is now almost 10 years overdue, but I’ve written it in my head frequently during the past decade. In the fall of 1999, I moved to the Northern Virginia area, a fresh graduate of Penn State University, with not much in my possession besides a degree and a nine-month-old gray tabby named Reno. Together we moved into a rented townhouse, and Reno quickly let me know that he was bored, and that he needed a feline friend.

I came to the Humane Society shelter on a Saturday morning, purely looking for another young companion cat for Reno. I met a little black kitten named Montana who seemed perfect – their names fit perfectly together! – but before going downstairs to fill out the paperwork, I popped into one last room to peek at two kittens, a pair of siblings named Vincent and Debra. I sat down on the floor to greet them; Vincent was shy, but Debra climbed into my lap, put her tiny front paws on my chest, and began nuzzling me. Needless to say, she came home with me less than an hour later. Penn State was playing Indiana in football that day, and I quicky realized – the name Debra didn’t seem to suit her, but Indiana sure did. Reno was thrilled to meet her, and the two quickly became the best of friends.

While I walked into the shelter that Saturday simply looking for a companion for Reno, I found so much more. During the past 10 years, Indiana (who quickly became Indy) has been a love monster, my constant companion (she’s sitting on my lap, nuzzling my chin as I write this) and my absolute best friend (don’t tell any of my human best friends I think that). I am forever grateful that your organization raised her, loved her, gave her a chance and ultimately brought us together – my life has been filled with love, joy and laughter (for a cat, Indy is a bit of a klutz) thanks to her, and you, so, as thanks, I am including with a donation of [redacted]. I hope you can use it to care for another cat that will bring happiness into its owner’s life the way Indy has mine.

With Utmost Gratitude,

Meredith R

Happy birthday, Miss Mousekowitz. To many, many more.

What Dinnertime Looks Like in Our House

April 13, 2009 § 1 Comment


For some reason, our cats are now human-dinner-plate hunters. They never were before. It’s both cute, and annoying.

Unrelated: Is there a special way to get the stink of chlorine out of your hair, and off your body? I am enjoying swimming as a hockey replacement, but not the stench.

Feeling Threatened by Our Cooing Over …

October 4, 2008 § 1 Comment

Indiana Mousekowitz turned the volume on the cute button up to “mind blowing.”

Now I’m a Little Bit Older, a Little Bit Bolder

September 13, 2008 § 1 Comment

My Mom sent me this photo of her and my Dad at the local high school football game on Friday afternoon and I immediately made it my desktop image. I smile whenever I look at it; for whatever reason I’ve been missing them recently.

The co-worker who sits directly across from me at work looked over and saw it at one point, and said, “Hey, maybe your mom should play Sarah Palin on SNL tomorrow night!”

In Memoriam: Virginia, 1997-2008

September 3, 2008 § 2 Comments

If you were paying attention on Twitter, you’ll know that we had the cats to the vet last night for their yearly exam. Last year when we took them, the vet pointed out that, at age 7 and 8, they are technically considered elderly, and should probably have their bloodwork checked. We scoffed: 8 isn’t elderly, and neither is 7, for sure. But since then that idea has sunk in, so when the vet mentioned it last night we said yes, go ahead, it seems like a good idea.

On our minds, also, was the sad fact that my brother, at the same time we were in a Virginia veterinary office for an appointment scheduled weeks prior, was in a Pennsylvania veterinary office for an appointment scheduled that morning, the third in two days, to put his first grownup dog to sleep. Her name is, or was, Virginia, because he got her not long after I moved here, and we’ve always liked place names for pet names.

We had seen her less than a week ago — we volunteered to stop in and take care of them while we were in town for my Gram’s birthday party — and she was fine; in fact, we had fretted over Squishy, the black lab on the far left (Virginia is on the far right) most of all, because he’s by far the oldest, and the stiffest. But the youngest, and the seemingly most vibrant, all of a sudden turned out to have inoperable pancreatic cancer, and she’s gone now. When he and I last talked, his voice cracked, but he said “Well she wasn’t exactly the healthiest dog” and we talked for a few minutes about her favorite meal (her own poop) and if nothing else, Internet, Virginia is proof that eating poop is not good for your insides.

I kept tearing up in the waiting room of our appointment, watching people coming in and out with their own pets, thinking of my brother, Virginia, and how that time is coming for all of us. The appointment was fine — Reno and Indy won rave reviews for their manners from the vet and technicians alike — but we’re puttering around the condo tonight, waiting for the vet to call with the bloodwork results. I know it’s nothing, but when I called about them earlier, the tech wouldn’t tell me anything — wouldn’t even let me talk to another doctor — and just said the vet would call us, she wanted to talk to us herself. I’m sure it’s just a dietary change, or a follow-up for some gnarly teeth (cough, Indy, cough), but it’s been almost three hours at this point, and I’m getting frustrated.

But more important, I suppose, is that I shouldn’t be on the Internet, I shouldn’t be writing, I should be doing exactly what i was doing in the waiting room last night, which is loving my pets. And you should, too.

Love your pets tonight, Internet, from you and some extra from me.

Mix CD Giveaway

September 1, 2008 § 11 Comments

BFF Tracey begged me to make her a new mix cd last week; as some long-time readers know, mixes aren’t a slapdash affair for me. I do versions and I sample and edit until I think they’re just perfect. I’m no Samantha Ronson, but I like to make sure there is flow.

It’s been a long time since I shared a mix with readers — I think the last was probably ‘Only Polo Drones Iron’ (circa 2003) — so I’m opening the doors on this one. It includes songs by Duffy, Black Kids, Billy Squier, Kate Nash, The Kills, Fleet Foxes, Nicole Atkins, RJD2 and George Michael.

First 10 responders in the comments, claim your mix, and also send an email to shampoo solo 17 at aol dot com with details on where I should mail it.

Two caveats: I’m out of jewel cases, so you’re on your own there, and please allow three to four weeks for delivery.

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