October.

I freaking love October. LOVE it. It’s getting brisk in the mornings and evenings and when I’m out in the briskness, it smells like the ocean and chimney smoke and fall. I don’t totally know how to describe it, but the autumn edge in the air smells like, well, for lack of a better descriptor, like autumn.

The trees are turning and Grimby is starting to wear sweaters. He is a very well-dressed dog and he looks great in cable knit. I know what you’re thinking: “Come on, Bay: Who doesn’t look great in cable knit?” But seriously, people. Look:

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Now, before you accuse Adam and I of being “those” people—you know, those people who dress their dogs up—you should know that Grimby gets cold. Boston Terriers are notoriously poor at moderating their body heat (they don’t have an undercoat). Grimby has taken to shivering like no dog’s business. If I don’t have the heat on high in the car, with all the vents pointing at him, he pretty much looks like the most pathetic thing ever.

Also, watching him in the rain is hilarious. We’ve had some rain (read: insane quantities of water pouring from the heavens. I’m impressed, Mother Nature—I kept thinking you didn’t have it in you to keep going. Clearly, you did. Way to show the doubters.). Grimby hates getting wet and won’t put all his feet down at the same time, so he stands there, shivering like he’s got hypothermia and lifting his back feet up one at a time, like a kid who needs to pee (and he does need to pee, so it’s twice as funny). I wonder if the fact that I think my dog’s discomfort is amusing makes me a bad person…

I just lost twelve minutes gazing at photos of Grimby from puppyhood until now, while finding those two pictures above. He is SO cute. I don’t care what anyone says. He’s the cutest best dog in the entire world. Even despite the fact that he is physically not able to relieve himself without peeing all over his front legs (every day, every pee). Hey, we all need something to keep up humble, don’t we?

Also, I’m in Seattle for training weekend 10. I bought some pumpkin beer last night and pumpkin pie yogourt. After all, I like pumpkin-spiced ANYTHING. Except, it turns out, pumpkin pie yogourt. It is NOT good. I was shocked. Adam wasn’t, but didn’t tell me when I bought it that it was going to be gross. Not that I would’ve listened, really, if I’m being honest (and apparently I am).

So here I am, with three thingies of gross-flavoured yogourt. It’s a conundrum.

I just reread this post. It’s very random. I think I need more sleep than I got last night… Read yesterday’s post if you’re looking for something more coherent.

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.

Anyway.

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.

 

 

Scaredy Pajama Pants

I should not watch scary movies. I’d like to say I just shouldn’t watch them alone, but honestly, it’s not any better when I watch them with friends. I know this. I’ve known this fact roughly two weeks longer than forever.

The final nail in the coffin (you see what it does to me? I start getting all morbid and using death-y sayings) was watching The Strangers with Ben and Ashley, about 3 years ago. Adam was in Vancouver on a co-op term and he wouldn’t have watched it anyway because he doesn’t like to be scared (smartypants). Ashley watched most of it from the safety of the stairwell where she couldn’t actually see the screen, but pieced it all together based on the audio, combined with the look of abject terror on my face. Well, the abject terror that was visible above the pillow I was strangle-holding against me. I may or may not have been chewing on the pillow in distress.

That movie freaking TERRIFIED me. What do you mean, “because you were home.” Could that ending BE any creepier? I submit that it could not. But did I learn my lesson? Yes, of course. I never watched a scary movie again, because it is dumb to do something you don’t enjoy and I’m a grown up and no one can force me to watch a movie I don’t want to watch.

Sigh.

No, I didn’t learn. I then watched Paranormal Activity with Ben and Ashley, figuring it was clearly make-believe so I wouldn’t have to be scared of it happening to me. That’s pretty rational, isn’t it? I mean, obviously, my condo isn’t haunted by a demon and therefore I am A-okay. Except that it turns out that being rational isn’t possible when you become haunted by a bloody movie. Seriously, you guys. I didn’t sleep for days. I didn’t sleep well for weeks. I couldn’t get a particular image out of my mind—and no, I won’t tell you what it is, because then I’d be remembering it all over again and I don’t need that, thank you very much, but it gives me this reaction—and I was scared to fall asleep. I tucked myself into bed like a tightly wound burrito, lest any evil breezes ruffle my sheets. Because malevolent spirits are impassably thwarted by bedsheets, of course. I depended on the cats’ peaceful sleeping to reassure me that I was safe (Maui is DEFINITELY too paranoid to let a demon reside in the same room as her without a LOT of hissing).

So, what did I do last night? Let me tell you: I’m alone and decide to check out Supernatural on Netflix. I mean, it’s primetime TV. How scary can it be? I thought maybe it would be funny and perhaps campy. Well. Thirty seconds in and there’s a bloody (literally) woman on fire and pinned to the ceiling Exorcist-style. CLEARLY IT CAN BE VERY SCARY. So, because I’m a smart and responsible adult, I turned it off and read Winnie the Pooh and then went to sleep and dreamed of ponies and fairy dust.

No I didn’t. I watched the whole damn thing. And maybe another two episodes because I JUST DON’T LEARN, DO I?

And then I had to take the dog out, in the dark night. Alone and tweaky. Then I get in, lock the door (which I have to check three times after tucking myself in) and decide Grimby can sleep on the bed with me, because he’s lonely and needs comforting. And also because I figure he’d bark at any evil spirits creeping up to my bedside.

Yes, I’m pathetic and used my small, young dog to make me feel safe and protect me from my own imagination. What? WHAT? I ADMITTED IT AND THAT’S THE IMPORTANT THING. He might be allowed to sleep on the bed again tonight and maybe until Adam’s home from Vancouver. Look at me, problem-solving all over the place.

This is a reenactment of my scared face.

This is a reenactment of my scared face.

Getting more scared. I just noticed I'm wearing my headphones. I'm not scared of music.

Getting more scared. I just noticed I’m wearing my headphones. I’m not scared of music.

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?”

Juggling a couple fewer balls.

Oh, I am crass.

This is a post about balls. You may or may not want to read it.  Indeed, I am talking about gonads. Grimby’s, to be specific. Though, I promise this post has less to do with the actuals balls themselves than it is about the circumstances surrounding the removal of them.

I’ll stop using synonyms for Grim’s cojones pretty quickly here, I promise. I mean, after all, how many ways are there to say huevos? Evidently, there are several.

I would also like to mention that it is difficult to type when your dog insists on gluing himself to your side to chew on his favourite soggy pumpkin stuffy. Here’s what it looks like:

So comfy

This is where Grimby is sitting while I type this. It’s very meta.

And then occasionally, he walks across my laptop, because obviously the other side of me is more comfortable. I mean, I love that he snuggles, but sometimes it’s a little tricky to get things done, though I suppose I could always go sit in my chair at my desk. Which is specifically designed for such activities as typing. You know, as opposed to lounging in horrible posture on the couch, craning my neck like a raptor whilst I tap out my thoughts on the laptop resting on my lap.

Nah.

Okay, so on Thursday, I bring the Mayor to the vet office in the early hours. All is well. He actually loves going to the vet, possibly because he loves everything except baths. And peeing in the rain and having his teeth brushed and his nails clipped.

I go back later that afternoon to pick him up and here’s what unfolds (you just knew there had to be something dramatic, right?): I chat with my favourite admin lady, who is all lovely and friendly and clearly adores Grimby more than all other patients. I know this because when I showed up to pick him up, she said, “Are you here to pick up the cutest little Boston Terrier and Best Dog in the World?”

I mean, there were other people in there with their dogs. Talk about awkward. True, Grimby was in fact 78 percent cuter than the next cutest dog, but still. So, clearly, Grimby is the vet office fave, based on the empirical and unbiased evidence that I just presented. Obviously. Have you seen him?

Sorry, all you other dogs. I know you are awesome and your owners love you very much, but that’s just the way it is. We do try to let other dogs feel good about themselves, by exclaiming how much our devastatingly handsome pup farts and snores (which is a lot, by the way). He is currently snoring on my lap, in fact. He has woken himself up six times with his own snoring. I’m kind of impressed.

I paid her, we chatted and laughed while agreeing that Grimby is the best dog on the planet. And she would know: She works with all kinds of pets. I paid her and filled out the microchip form (Grimby really wanted a chip. He’s really into technology.).

Then, the vet tech comes out to tell me about post-op care and gestures me into a room. I had a brief moment of concern, seeing as how I’ve only been in this particular room once, when my beloved Minnette was put down.

Pshaw,” I told myself, “it’s just an examination room. You’re being silly.”

So, we’re standing there in The Death Room of Great Sorrow and she turns to me and says, “So, we made a mistake this morning with Grimby.” To which I responded, “Um, what?”

And I flung myself upon my hands and knees, gnashing my teeth and wailing in grief. Or at least had a mental flurry of concerned thoughts, such as:

“Oh my God, they killed Grimby!” and then, “Wait, they wouldn’t have made me pay for the surgery if they killed him.” After all, “Would they make me pay for the surgery after they killed him?” Let’s be rational here. Oh my gosh, what did they do? “Did they cut off a leg? Replace his heart? Replace him with a bunny?”

You guys, I was worried. I had me a moment. I think my reaction was only to be expected. It turns out this vet tech just has an awkward bedside manner. What had happened was that they did a blood test when we’d chosen against it (really, only because he is very healthy and it seemed an unnecessary expense. We are not bad pet people.). He was alive. Grimby was alive and had all his limbs and a normal puppy heart and wasn’t a bunny.

But wait <<insert more panic and wringing of hands>>, did they find something terrible in the blood test and that’s why I was in The Room of Sorrow Mingled with Death?

No, they did not. Grimby is perfectly healthy. That tech just really needs to choose her lead-in a little more carefully. I mean, come ON!

So that’s that. I am possibly somewhat dramatic and very much attached to this snoring fur ball.

 

Oh December!

It is December. According to some, we’ve got like 13 days before the end of days. I prefer to think that perhaps the Mayans just ran out of pages in their daytimer. So, now that’s dealt with and we can move on. See? Optimism just saved the planet. Positivity works.

I love December. It’s where I find some of my favourite things, namely: Winter and Christmas. We haven’t put up any decorations yet, because I have rules about such things (no decorating before December 10). It’s important I have these rules; after all, I do listen to Christmas music all year long. What?! IT IS PRETTY MUSIC AND I LIKE IT. So there, all you judgers out there. At least I don’t put my tree up in November and then whine on December 26th about how the season is too commercialized. Whuppaw!

I wish we had snow. That pretty much is a standard condition for me for about 6-to-8 months of the year, though, so that’s hardly newsworthy. Everything is pretty and clean and wintry in the snow. I mean, I actually get a little sad when they break the curse in Narnia, because I think the endless winter was pretty awesome. And the animals talked, so that’s pretty cool. Obviously minus the eee-ville witch. She needed to go and melt.

Um, so I have lots of stuff to write about, on account of how I’ve been all absent, et cetera. But, I have a Christmas craftiness session to head off to, so I’ll have to catch you up laters. I will say, because I know you’re wondering, that I have done some soul-searching (and talked to a counsellor) and am feeling much more okay with a) having anger (turns out I’m human after all), and b) the fact that I can choose to express anger in non-upsetting ways, and c) my dog is, in fact, awesome. Phewf.

Also, this is neither here nor there (nor is it a secret reference to my condition, which is patently NOT-PREGNANT), but EVERYONE is pregnant right now. Do NOT drink the water, if you’re hoping to remain childless. It’s an epidemic. Luckily, these are all amazing people and favourite friends who will have adorable children who will be lucky to have such awesome parents.

Here’s me:

I know, right?