Why can’t we all just get along?

Yeah, so I’m way, way, waaaaay behind here. I’ll explain tomorrow. I know, you can’t hardly wait. That’s why I love you.

I’m in the TeamBucks again, this time with Jay, so I’m not making up the antics of the players. Not as many of the key characters, though: No wizard, no Bottom’s Up.

I was about to write about how my pets don’t get along and compare it to high school drama, but then it made me think of Glee (how am I not on that show?) and then I thought of the recent news of Cory Monteith’s passing (so sad to see a light go out so soon, regardless of why). He lived in here in Victoria while he was growing up, too. Somehow, that seems even more sad.

Sadness aside, I just saved my draft of this post and WordPress logged me out and the entire rest of this post was deleted. Awesome. Grumble, grumble…

So anyway, it occurred to me that I didn’t really explain the political part of the oft-disgusting ecosystem that is our condo.

Quick aside: This is the litterbox freshener I use. It’s pretty good, at least at the moment I put it in. But let’s inspect the scientific evidence of it’s effectiveness, as depicted on the back of the box:

Science is amazing. This graph tells us nothing. What are the units? "Smell-metres"?

Science is amazing. This graph takes significant liberties and yet tells us nothing. What are the units of odour? “Stank0metres”?

Look. As the odour rises (in height? smell units? THIS MAKES NO SENSE.), the blue bar wins by racing to the top faster than the red bar. Or something like that. This is not science, you guys. These are just words. This proves nothing, except that marketers make things up and people will buy anything. I am proof (of both of these facts).

It occurred to me that my previous post had less to do with the politics of the pets in our household and more to do with the disgusting and surprisingly renewable pet-waste ecosystem that our pets have created in our living space. Our condo isn’t particularly small, really, but two cats, one dog, two humans can get lively. And quite frankly, two litterboxes too many.

Now, I will do my best to refrain from using the word “poop” as much as possible, though, it is a really fun word (I am four years old, it would seem) and it is also kind of central to the political climate in this ecosystem. Just for the record, Adam gave me the idea of using the term “ecosystem” to describe the poop (see? so much fun, right? the fun is all in the second “p”). I do like to give credit where credit is due.

Anyway, so Maui is afraid of everything and Hermes takes full advantage of this fact. He used to skulk around the litterbox and ambush her when she exited the box. Her fragile emotional/mental state can’t handle that kind of stress. Clearly. Because she now poops on the floor, beside the litterbox. Thanks, Hermes. You asshole.

Grimby makes matters worse by loving the cats (which is completely unrequited, sadly, for him). He shows his love by chasing the cats anytime they move and anytime in between the times they move. In case you didn’t catch it, that is roughly 110% of the time. All the time, he chases cats. It isn’t appreciated by the cats.

Well, huh, it took less time than I thought to really delve into that political system. Turns out it’s not as complex as it seems.

Pets. It’s a good thing I love them.


The Politics of Poop and Why Maui isn’t Our Favourite Cat.

I’m in Seattle again, and the TeamBucks isn’t full of its usual suspects. Granted, it’s Saturday, not Sunday. I will say, however, that there is a gentleman with amazing flowing locks. Very wavy, very long and very feminine. Other than that, he looks totally normal. I’m pretty sure he’s a wizard. Here’s my reasoning. And more proof. Long, flowing, greying hair = wizard. I’d take a picture, but I’m afraid he’d cast a spell on me. Or see me and think I was weird, at least.


It’s been a little while since we last hung out. Sorry about that, but I was a little busy, on a side trip to Breakdown City (sort of like Atlantic City, but less fun). If you’re ever wondering where I am,  you can always check out Evergrowth. Actually, you should check it out anyway, since I’m writing there and more readership is always a good thing.

Anyway, to make up for it, I’ve got a real humdinger of a post for you today. I mean it. You’ll be happy you read it, though perhaps not while you’re eating your breakfast (consider that the disclaimer). It’s about the politics of litterboxes. Yup, I’m talking about poop. I know, I know: You don’t have to thank me. I’m happy to share with you some of the glamour that is my every [single freaking] day life.

As you know, we have two cats: Maui the Hairy and Hermes the Fat. Both cats are beloved in their own special way, but neither is particularly normal. Just what is normal, you ask? Well, I believe normal is, for a cat, snuggly and lovey.

Now, I’m sure you’re all saying, “But Bay, most of the cats I know are neither of those things.”

“Pshaw,” I say, “I didn’t finish.” Snuggly and lovey and very possibly scritchy if you linger near the sharp bits, which are inconveniently located at pretty much all ends of the beast, or pet the wrong spot. See? I’m not totally unrealistic.

I’ve gotten off point. Suffice it to say that my cats are patently not lapcats and never will be (although if ever one of them were to grace a lap, it would be Maui, believe it or not). The cuddly nature of my cats, or their deficiency in that quality is, however, not what I’m here to discuss today. We’re talking about their bathroom etiquette, or the lack thereof.

Maui has no manners and it contributes to mayhem. I feel like this clip pretty much says it all. Don’t worry, though: I’ll say more.

She looks regal. Don't buy it.

She looks regal. Don’t buy it.

Litterboxes are disgusting. I don’t feel like I really need to describe to you why that is the case. If you need proof, you’ve never owned a cat and I can’t help you with that. The litterbox is the one aspect of cat ownership that stinks, both figuratively and literally.

So apart from the fact that the litterbox is gross, it smells and there is kitty litter everywhere (E-v-e-r-y. Where.), it is also a problem because the temptation of the litterbox pushes Grimby past the point of rational thought. He thinks the litterbox is a fun and stinky vending machine. Seriously, he canNOT get enough of it.

Apparently, this is common. Because dogs are the grossest things ever. I mean, Grimby is cute and friendly and lovey and cuddly and hilarious and I adore him, but seriously; he pees on himself every single day/pee and he eats kitty litter (and anything it contains). You’ve seen nothing until you’ve seen a Boston Terrier come to sit very close to you with a mouth caked with clumping kitty litter (and BTs have vast mouths with a lot of lip and jowl to cake with that mess), looking appropriately contrite and ashamed (“Grimby, if you know it’s wrong, then why do you keep doing it?”).

He looks distinguished, but he eats poop. Any chance he gets.

He looks distinguished, but he eats poop. Any chance he gets.

Anyway, he’s gross because he’s a dog and dogs are gross. We’ve taken appropriate measures by investing in litterboxes he can’t get into. One is a covered box we turn so the cats can access, but Grim can’t. The other is what we call the Poogloo. It looks like an igloo, in which the cats can, well, you know.

Hermes has claimed the Poogloo for his own personal bathroom, which leaves Maui with the other covered one in the other bathroom. She seems to be okay with this, for the most part. But here’s the thing: While professing loudly to detest the dog, with much hissing and spitting from beneath the bed, I think she secretly has a crush on Grimby.

Here is my evidence: We’ve made it impossible for the dog to get into the litterboxes because it’s the most disgusting thing in the history of the world, or at least the part of the world located within our condo. Maui, in her infinite kindness (never thought I’d put that sentence together, if I’m being honest), likes to help a dog bro out, by pooping on the floor, approximately one foot to the right of the litterbox.

Thanks, Maui. You disgusting creature. It’s not bad enough you excrete swamp muck (seriously, the smell is unbearable), but you leave it, uncovered for the sniffing stank eater. And we only know from the evidence on the floor (you can use your imagination as to how we know. I’m not writing it out.).

There’s not really much rhyme or reason as to why or when she’ll become the gracious giver of dog treats. I suppose we should be grateful (Grimby clearly is). After all, this means the dog isn’t eating mouthfuls of clumping kitty litter, or “pee-flavoured sprinkles” as the sad dog reports, which means he’s less likely to drink a gallon of water, turning his intestines into a concrete mixer. Not even making this up—my dog has literally shat bricks.

So there you go. The politics of poop and why Maui isn’t our favourite cat.

My next cat will be toilet trained. I’m not even kidding.



Is it so much to ask for, really?

I know I’m fortunate. I live in a beautiful country. I was born to privilege compared to many around this planet. I’ve never had to wonder if my water was safe to drink, or if I would be able to get an education. I’ve always had enough food and a warm bed to sleep in at night. I’ve had more than enough, though I am aware I have often wished for more.

It’s the human condition, right?

I try to be thankful. I try to cultivate my gratitude. I try to be generous and loving. I try to help others. I try to spread joy and promote peace.

So, is it too much to ask that my pets get along? I mean, really, you guys. These animals? They’re not friends. They are not buddies. Some of them (ahem, Maui—don’t even try to look like you don’t know who I’m talking about) aren’t even civil.

All I’ve ever wanted is for pets that would snuggle up and be all cosy together. Okay, that’s a lie—I’ve wanted for much more than that, including, but not limited to: shoes, travel, unicorns (if they’re not real, then how do we know what they look like? Answer me that, Smarty Pants! I know—my logic is flawless.), magic (wardrobes, wands, wizards, etc), the ability to fly and more shoes. And shoes.

But still. I mean, if I was a furry creature, I would want nothing more than to snuggle up on another furry creature. IT WOULD BE THE MOST COMFORTABLE THING EVER. Amiright? Yes, yes I AM correct. I submit that it would be even more comfortable than leaping onto a freshly laundered and-still-warm-from-the-dryer pile of bedclothes. And that is saying something, because I have done that and it is truly lovely. Seriously. Try it. You won’t regret it. Chuck a couple of dogs and cats in there, plus perhaps an angora rabbit (though I think perhaps angora is a goat, which might make for a less pleasing snuggle pile. Goats are really grumpy bastards. And they’d wait till you were all comfy and then they’d go and do this just when you’re dozing off.).

Come on. You knew I had to get Goats Yelling Like Humans in here at some point. You knew that.

A coworker showed me a photo of her new corgi—his legs are SO short!—being snuggled by her cat. My cats don’t go near my dog unless it’s to take a swipe at him. He chases them endlessly. Especially Maui, which I think we can all agree is a bad idea. She will cut him. She’s tweaky and temperamental and erratic. She’s not all there. There’s a cost to looking that pretty.

I’ve seen homeless people’s pets behaving with much more appreciation and decorum than my own spoiled pets. Maybe not Grimby. I’m pretty sure he’d snuggle them if he could get near them without losing a bulgy brown eye. And to be honest, I think Hermes would be much friendlier and open to finding brotherhood if his unrequited love hadn’t been squelched like so many forlorn romantics before him.

I don't think she knows he's there...

I don’t think she knows he’s there…

This is pretty much as close as they’ve ever gotten. Best two out of three, I guess.

"He's looking at me right now, isn't he?"

“He’s looking at me right now, isn’t he?”

Happy Friday! Oh, wait, it’s only Tuesday…

This was A Very Busy Day. I’m just getting used to being a mobile worker (isn’t she mobile?! Working on a chair on the ocean!), which means I have no desk space to call home. This is fine by me, but there are definitely some learning curves. After having struggled to shove all my stuff (I cycle to work and needed to bring teaching gear today, too) into two lockers on different floors, I found space to work on the fourth floor, which, might I add, has a lovely view.

Here are some of the lessons I learned today:

  1. After getting (relatively) organized to work in the free address space, make sure you have a pen/pencil/writing implement, or else you will need to go back down to your locker to find one.
  2. After making the trek for the quill pen or whatever you write with, don’t forget a spoon with which to eat the yogourt & granola you have on your desk.
  3. After finding a spoon and eating the granola/yogourt combo, you may be thirsty. You will probably wish you had a drinking vessel. Back down the stairs you go.
  4. Productivity, which is increased by working in a location away from distractions, can be reduced by the need to run up and down 2–4 flights of stairs for necessary items.
  5. I will lose weight working this way. Not too shabby for me and just in time for summer!

I taught two yoga classes tonight, having shifted my Thursday class to tonight because of the long weekend. I am tired. Adam put on the new Game of Thrones, which it is far too late to watch, but I cannot not watch. I wonder which character will die that I have grown to love. Sometimes, it’s better not to care…

I gotta go and pay attention, because I can’t afford to not know what’s going on in this show.

Also, big bummer: Ben and Ashley were meant to come with us to Seattle this weekend, but might not be now. This super sucks. Adam’s in coaching training for two full days, during which time I will be completely on my little lonesome. I am wishing I knew peeps in Seattle…

This is a cat. In a box. I needed a picture for this post. You're welcome.

Swing and a miss.

Sorry I missed yesterday. I had a post all planned, but then the day got away on me and by the time I had a chance to sit at my laptop, it was after 2 am. And I decided that it was okay to miss a day. Especially since officially, Lent doesn’t include Sundays and I’ve been faithfully posting away on the Lord’s Day, so technically, I’ve got, like, five freebies.

However, there is much to discuss. Today is April Fool’s Day. Rather, I guess it was, since it’s well past noon and the pranking hour is over. April 1st is also Maui’s birthday. That alone explains a lot. Because Maui is definitely a bit of a joke, as far as cats go. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love that stupid cat, but she’s like a walking contradiction. All pretty and soft, but heaven help you if you fall for her siren’s song and lean down to pet her, unless you are a) Adam, b) myself, or c) utterly reckless and don’t mind seeing significant quantities of your own blood. She will rip you to shreds. Complete evisceration is her ultimate goal. Who knew this little cute ball of fluff would turn into the beautiful ball of neuroses we’ve had for eight years?

Seriously. So cute. Who knew what that cuteness was concealing.

Another thing that happened yesterday is hot yoga sesh #3. Interestingly, I’m no longer hating it (or myself for being there). Now that I know the order of postures, it’s much less stressful, because I know the end is near (this is the only time I’m anticipating using that phrase in a positive way). I don’t actually hate it, but it’s not very demanding, apart from the heat. I like the detox/sweat-it-out part. I feel like it’s good for my skin, but the postures don’t really challenge my strength or flexibility. I also realized yesterday that there is absolutely no hip openers in the series, which is odd to me.

Yesterday’s class was led by a teacher named Peter, who was pretty funny. Definitely my style of class. He was making jokes and providing really good cues and individual attention. At one point, he said “shit” and then apologized for his “Turette’s” moment. He also made fun of Nickleback, so you know he’s a good guy. I liked him. Too bad he’s leaving after today to teach in California for a year.

At the beginning of class, he asked if anyone was new, or had taken just two or three classes. I held my hand up. This was a mistake. He asked my name, leading to this not uncommon dialogue:

Me: “Bay.”

Peter: “May?”

Me: “Um, no. Bay. Like Hudson’s Bay.” A chorus of laughter ensued. Aren’t I hilarious.

He asked if I was liking it (and I lied and said yes, which I felt was better than telling the truth) and told me to take it easy, because I was still relatively new-ish. I didn’t offer up that I am, in fact a yoga instructor who has been practicing regularly for eight years, having taken my first yoga class at the age of 15. And being a dancer my whole life. What’s the problem with leaving that tidbit of info out? Well, everyone around me—which is to say the 347 people in class next to me—all gave me that kindly oh-you’re-a-newc0mer smile. You know, that one where they almost look sympathetic, as though to say, “Don’t worry: We’ve all been new. You’ll be okay.”

I mean, really, they’re all super sweet and nice and supportive and everything. After about three postures, I’m getting looks of interest mixed with mild confusion: “Didn’t she just say she was new?” After Peter called out that I was “killing it”, I really felt like a poser (Ha! Get it? “Poser” Because of the yoga poses! No? Not funny? Just me? Okay then.). Because Bikram’s isn’t particularly difficult, posture or strength-wise. It’s just really, really, exceedingly warm. I mean, it’s toasty. So I felt like a big show off, even though I wasn’t trying to be. This was not as big of an issue as I’m making it out to be, but you gotta write something in a blog. So there it is.

Now then, it wouldn’t be a recap about a hot yoga class if I didn’t mention the sweat and unyielding heat. You see, I’m not really certain that you are understanding how hot it is in that room. So I looked it up. It’s 40.6°C with a humidity of 40%. That is warm. Add in the 60 or so people in there sweating profusely and that temp/humidex jumps up pretty quickly. There are so many people in there that your mat is mere inches from the person next to you (which is not unlike a packed led primary class, so I’m not weirded out by the lack of personal space).

The guy in front of me, who has been at EVERY class I’ve taken (I think he just lives there and sweats it out five times a day), loses a LOT of sweat. It’s disturbing. There was a puddle on his mat, on TOP of his towel, which was completely saturated. That towel didn’t have a chance. You guys. I’m not exaggerating, though I realize I tend to embellish my stories now and again (it’s more fun that way). A literal PUDDLE of his sweat. I mean, we’re all sweating in there, but this guy was internally combusting.

At one point, we have to lay down (well, that happens a lot, actually) and his sweat-soaked head touched my hand towel. Oh-my-god-oh-my-god-oh-my-god! I had to force myself not to scream, while my face must’ve looked like this. His sweat. Was ON. MY. Towel. Come on! I bring my own towels to deal with my own sweatiness. It’s not my problem that he should clearly be doing yoga in a wading pool.

Anyway. At the end of class, after savasana, this is what happened: He rolled up his mat/towel, which is not in itself odd. After all, that is what one does with a yoga mat. But then, you guys. Then. He had somehow magically acquired a bucket and he lifted his mat, quickly holding the end over the bucket, so the puddle of sweat could stream/splash/sploosh into the bucket. HE WAS LITERALLY SWEATING BUCKETS. This is not normal.

Just for the record, I talked to Peter as I left and when he asked about my background, I confessed I was an Ashtangi and an instructor. He said that made sense and that he loves Ashtanga. We talked a little about how we both think it’s good to mix up yoga and keep an open mind. What a good hot yoga teacher!