Saturday, July 25, 2015

Future Cat is Present Cat, Library Shame, Weird Western

Future Cat, who I blogged about last week, is now Present Cat. After a flurry of phone calls and a lot of confusing interactions with the adoption agency and the pet store that housed him, we finally managed to pay all the fees and sign all the paperworks, and we took him home on Monday night. 

I’m not going to lie; the first few days with Present Cat were rough. Of course I would zero right in on the cat with abandonment issues. He also seemed to have a touch of PTSD, coupled with severe food anxiety. He very quickly figured out that “kitchen” equals “food”, creating a situation in which every single time we even approached the kitchen, he would yowl hysterically. He gobbled up every morsel we fed him, and cried for more. We finally decided to just leave a constant supply of kibble for him in his dish, but we had to stop that because he’d just eat the entire bowl in one sitting. He got whiny if one of us wasn’t in sight at all times, and he needed constant reassurance, attention, and stimulation. But he’s already calmed down considerably. He seems to realize we’re not going to abandon him or starve him out, and he’s stopped yowling every single time we go near the kitchen. He’s figured out ways to entertain himself, mostly consisting of torturing his feather toy and taking running leaps from the top of the cat tree onto the back of the couch. Despite his anxiety and his wild kitten energy, he’s quite a curler-upper and very snuggly. We named him Sammy. We’re happy he’s with us.  

I live literally one block away from my neighborhood library, but for some reason, I just don’t go anymore. I needed a new environment to jump-start my flaccid writing muscles today, so I headed over to my local branch to sketch out a few ideas for new projects. Before I left, I decided to check out a few poetry books, and it turns out that it’s been so long since I used my library card that they deleted me from their system, and I had to apply for a new one. I’m so ashamed! Part of the personal mythology I have created around myself is that I am A Person Who Loves Libraries. And I do. I don’t know why I don’t utilize them more, especially the lovely one that is right near my apartment. I have resolved to make library visits a regular part of my life from here on out. They are so calm and quiet and book-scented. I need more library in my life! Cats and libraries and poetry. That’s who I am folks. No running away from it.

In writing news, the ideas I jotted down today were just sort of meh, but I have one that I’m going to play around with that may become a regular series on this blog. Until the novel is actually shipped off to an agent, I think I’m going to focus on writing shorter, more experiential pieces. The one I have in mind involves a mysterious time-traveling cowboy. Don’t ask me why--he just keeps haunting me, so think I need to get him onto the page. I also played around a little bit with writing a slam poem, as I’ve been inspired by a brilliant slam poet in my writing group. Alas, I don’t think slam is in my talent wheelhouse, but I’m going to keep working on it and see if I can cobble together a piece that might work for an open mic or something. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m just blitheringly grateful for a bit of rain and the cooler temps. Ahhhh….Seattle weather is back, and I feel like a proper human again. 

Addendum: Since I got some complaints about not including pics of Sammy, viola! Pics of Sammy:

--Kristen McHenry


Frank Moraes said...

Okay, so we get the stupid picture of the cowboy but no pictures of Present Cat?! I am disappointed! But I'm glad that Sammy is doing well. People always think of cats as so aloof, but I think of them as kind of like me: anxious. We're just fine if everything is exactly the way it should be; but it rarely is. And whose fault is that? Certainly not ours; we didn't move the couch!

Yes, the library is wonderful. When I was a kid, the central library in my home town was the best place on earth. I loved the closed stacks. It was always so great getting things from the closed stacks. It was like a Gnostic experience. That library is still there, and I still enjoy going there. But it doesn't seem quite as large as it did then.

Your story idea reminds me of Cowboy Mouth. But I expect that what you write will be much better (although I should revisit the play -- I might like it more now).

Kristen McHenry said...

Frank: Fixed with pictures!i don't know what "Cowboy Mouth" is, but you can bet I'm going to look that up pronto. It sounds interesting.

Frank Moraes said...

What a fetching cat!

Cowboy Mouth is a short play by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith -- half John Osborne and half Eugene Ionesco.