Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Perils of Cat Extroversion, Anti-Model

Mr. Typist and I biffed off to Ocean Shores last weekend for a little getaway, leaving Buddy alone for the first time since we adopted him. We left him enough food and water to supply an army, and made sure that he was tucked in safe and sound with all of his normal creature comforts. Nonetheless, you would have thought we’d locked him in a windowless dungeon for a year with no provisions. He would not shut up about it. Immediately upon our return, he threw an epic fit. He howled, cried, complained and followed us around obsessively for hours, jumping into our suitcases, sniffing all of our clothes and braying nonstop about the brute trauma of being left to his own devices for slightly less than 48 hours. He also gobbled down an entire week’s worth of food over the two-day period, which Mr. Typist suspects he ate all in one sitting.

The common theory goes that dogs and children are the natural purview of extroverts, and that cats are the purview of introverts, who need peace and quiet so that they can work on their novels or invent stuff. Cats generally do not demand anything of us, but offer mutually beneficial, and most importantly, quiet companionship. The trade-off is that that they are fairly indifferent to our comings and goings, and aloof to our problems. But not Buddy. Buddy is that rare breed: An extroverted cat. A cat who needs a lot of attention, excitement and stimulation from his owners. A cat who insists on letting every one of his fleeting emotions be known, every second of every day. A cat who does not know stoicism and for whom every passing desire is an essential need to be met immediately. I was quite gratified by his outrage at our brief disappearance. Maybe not having us to boss around for a few days will instill a little gratitude. So far I haven’t seen evidence of this, but I remain hopeful.

I got new head shots done last week. I’ve needed new ones for a while, and a photographer friend of mine generously agreed to meet me in my neighborhood to do them. The problem is, I have had head shots taken exactly one other time in my life, I almost never take selfies, and consequently, I have literary no idea what to do with myself during a photo shoot. I’m not interested in looking at my own face or learning about my best “angles,” and I look ridiculous trying to do typical model poses. Also, I have a chronic case of “Resting Bitch Face,” so some of the shots he took when I was just sitting there unawares make me look like a corporate robber baron: Serious, mean and formidable. I don’t want to look mean and formidable in my head shots. I would like to look friendly and, I don’t know. Open? Cheerful? Warm? I have a lot of shots to go through and the whole thing is just very uncomfortable for me. I am now regretting that I never did anything to straighten out my overbite. Also, my under-eye wrinkles are more pronounced than I thought. I guess I should moisturize or something.

In terms of my day-to-day professional appearance, I’ve settled on some version of vaguely presentable. I put full make-up on for work, tend towards long, flowy, blousy tops that are easy to move in, and try to keep my hair in check. During the weekends, I don’t bother with more than a little light foundation and lip gloss, and the hair gets shoved under a baseball cap. This is the most thought I will put into my looks. It’s just not of that much interest to me. So gazing upon shot after shot of my visage and trying to suss out which ones are “best” gives me a weird sense of cognitive dissonance. However, I shall shoulder on, and should soon have a shiny new head shot to post.

Oh, by the way, Ocean Shores was glorious. There was almost no one there. And we broke even at slots!  

Video warning: A few swears.

--Kristen McHenry

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