Scattered Brainings V

29 04 2010

* It’s been a bit tedious with the internet being loopy the last three days or say. There was so much I wanted to/ could have blogged about, but I wasn’t willing to type an entire entry via my cell phone.

* Smudgy is becoming more of a loveable cat, especially, I believe, since her trip to the vet. It’s adorable when your cat comes and snuggles up next to you on or inside the bed… the only problem is, Smudgy likes sleeping right next to my face. Cat in face = problems breathing. Still, it’s so adorable when she does it, that I even consider not moving her away.

* Remember my post about my dentist, and that I mentioned that there’s a picture with birds on the ceiling right above the ‘operating’ chair? I counted them again today – there are either 53 or 54. I’m not completely sure which it is. It’s difficult watching the ceiling while the dentist is hovering over you with the drill.

* Speaking of the dentist, don’t you think that having a dead (or numb, rather) cheek, lip and tongue feels especially weird? Or how does it feel to you when a tooth is being drilled? It feels kind of ‘ticklish’, if teeth or said to be able to feel thus. Makes my mouth want to twitch, although I’m sure the dentist and his assistant won’t have the faintest idea what I am smiling about. Did I mention that I’m going back again next week? How joyous.

* My Significant Other and I watched THE MATRIX two evenings ago – and it’s still as great as ever… I must admit, however, that I am dreading the next two instalments. I nearly fell asleep in the cinema while watching the 2nd film, and I’m not quite sure if I ever even saw the third one.

* I went for a job interview on Monday (finally). Apparently another candidate as well as myself has been shortlisted to come in for a second interview sometime next week. It’s really exciting, yet extremely ironic at the same time, as my laparoscopic surgery takes place on the 11th of May, after which I’ll be home in bed for at least a week. And, I am sure, the company I applied at wanted to fill the position yesterday already (yes, I’m exaggerating), so employing someone who can only start at the end of May isn’t ideal on their part.

* Finalizing everything for your wedding venue isn’t easy. There are two venues I am looking at – one gave me misinformation, which causes me to feel a certain amount of doubt and scepticism towards them; the other still has to get back to me, this after I e-mailed them on Monday evening. The only catch with the first place is that, if I want to get married in April in the main hall, all the Saturdays are already booked, so it’ll have to be on a Sunday. Now ask yourself, honestly: how many people will want to attend to a Sunday wedding, and how many people will actually stay until 12PM?

* My wedding invitations are basically done (OCD at its best). My fiancé and I were playing about on the computer yesterday, and with his help – thank you, Sweetheart! – I managed to create something quite lovely.

* I think I’m falling apart. Either that, or I have too many ailments for someone my age (23). Knee pain; neck pain; shoulder pain; abdominal pain (which is excruciating, I might add, especially when it comes my ovaries); headaches/ migraines; feeling carsick (of late); claustrophobia……

* There’s a reason why certain films don’t make it to the silver screen – DONKEY XOTE (an animated film) springs to mind as I am making this statement. Go ahead and watch it, if you want to test the validity of my statement… or don’t, rather. Spare yourselves.

* I’m in the mood for a cupcake… a big, moist vanilla cupcake, decorated with delicious, colourful icing and topped off with cute little sprinkles… *sigh* There’s no hope for me, is there?

* I rarely drink at all, and if I do it’s usually a glass of light rosé, yet I must admit that cosmopolitans are exquisite. I suppose it depends, of course, on who’s serving you the cocktail – after all, not all places get it right, and you don’t need to be a barman to be able to whip up a decadent drink. My compliments, thus, to Clive, who made me the best cocktail ever last Saturday. Being friends with him could be dangerous for my levels of alcohol consumption.

* Okay, so here it is, as promised: a picture of me in my Disney Princess dress. There are two things I don’t like about the dress… or rather, about me wearing the dress: (1) my behind looks quite large in it [at least according to myself]; and (2) the pleats – or whatever they are – around the middle aren’t very flattering, as I believe they draw attention to one’s midsection, and as a result make me look a bit fatter. Still, it’s a pretty dress, and I’m sure that it isn’t the problem (which means, of course, that I am – perhaps I just don’t have the sleek, slender build for it).


The dentist down the street

23 04 2010

I’ve always wondered: if a person can refer to a doctor’s bedside manner, does it not thus stand to reason that you can refer to a dentist’s chair-side manner? I know it sounds silly, but these are the kinds of things that are constantly floating about in what constitutes for my mind (whether sane or not is still to be determined).

I’ve had reason to be thinking about dentists. Last year, my dentist (who is conveniently situated 2 houses away from my parental home) had to do a root canal on one of my teeth. He had to do it in two sessions, which means 90 min + 90 min = 180 min (3 h) of having to keep my mouth open at its widest. Nice jaw exercise, I can tell you. In any case, this beloved root canal-ed tooth of mine decided to go AWOL, at least partially, and a part of the tooth broke off while I was eating a rusk. I suppose it goes without saying that I had to check in with my dentist to have it fixed, so that’s how I spent a part of my morning yesterday.

Now, I’ve been going to the same dentist since I was yeah-high (quite young). They say familiarity breeds contempt, yet luckily I do not see my dentist often enough to feel that way… although I would wager that, if I felt differently about dentist appointments, I might feel differently. Familiarity can be quite a nice thing. You run through the usual routine: chatting to the woman at the reception desk about how your mother’s doing, telling her what you’ve been busy with since finishing university (at least temporarily), surrendering your hand to inspection after she notices your engagement ring… Then of course there’s the ‘Operating Room’ itself, where the dentist’s chair stands ready to receive you. He has two brightly coloured pictures on the roof right above the chair, covered with tons of birds, which I have a tendency to try to count as I lie there. The clock against the wall is also positioned j-u-u-u-s-t right, so as it is noticeable from my vantage point.

All these familiar things, what with the radio tuned to the same station, and pictures of the dentist’s daughter still up against a kind of white board, is not what caught my attention yesterday. Goodness, no. Yesterday, I seemed to have an epiphany, as I looked up into the dentist’s face:

My dentist looks like Stephen King.

Well, I don’t mean that he looks exactly like Stephen King, otherwise I am sure that I would have made the correlation sooner. No, I think it was just the angle at which I saw him, looking up into a face that is illuminated slightly by the light above the chair, the mouth covered with a mask, and his eyes behind his spectacles. The feeling was uncanny, and I immediately started wondering whether I could blog about the incident or not. When I got out of the chair and spoke to him afterwards, as is the custom, he looked back to normal again… mostly, at least…

If it were a scene from a Stephen King novel, I am sure that I would not have walked out of his office alive… and if I did, I might be missing a tooth or two… or possibly even a limb… Reminds me of those horror movies you get, and stories that frightens kiddies, where a dentist is seen to be a bad man who’ll hurt you while you’re strapped into that big chair, unable to escape, the drilling hovering oh-so-close to your vulnerable pink mouth, your gums watering yet your mouth and tongue feeling dry as you wait for impending doom…

I have another appointment next week Thursday. And even though I have never, ever dreaded a dentist appointment, now I am looking forward to it. I just might find the inspiration for a short story (no dental chairs or equipment included) while under the ‘influence’ of my momentary Stephen King. It’s all about mindset, after all, isn’t it?

Perhaps I should mention my ‘discovery’ to a few people who are afraid of dentists. Dentist + Stephen King = nightmares to colour your wildest dreamscapes. Or I could, actually, write a short story about a trip to the dentist, as long as I can find a new angle on it. “The dentist down the street” has a good ring to it… and so does the sound of his drill as it comes closer…

"How wide did you say I should open?"

When the going gets tough…

20 04 2010

…the tough: get resourceful.

Now it’s no secret that I have been down-in-the-dumps (or lower, if that is possible) due to the fact that I have been at home for six – six! – months and still haven’t found a job. My coming laparoscopy doesn’t help my prospects, either, as I will be spending quite some time in bed afterwards in order to recuperate, which, of course, includes vast amounts of pain and discomfort (an average of twee weeks thereof, according to my research). Thus, in order to stay sane and keep myself occupied, I have decided to take matters into my own hands.

I am going to start advertising my talents.

My genes have blessed me (on one of their rare occasions, I’ll add) with a knack for being creative. Naturally, I know that it is easy to be creative nowadays, what with scrapbooking kits and all that sort of stuff. Still, adding that personal touch gives one a sense of pride, and also warms those to who the end product of your efforts is presented. I remember fondly how my Significant Other’s brothers and friends respond whenever I present them with a handmade birthday card. Usually, I try to find things that compliment the person’s personality, otherwise I just try to work with pictures and colours that ‘go together’. The result never disappoints.

This is a card I made for a friend for his 23rd birthday

Last year, I wrapped my younger sister's birthday gifts in sheet music. She wants to be a singer, which is why the card also relates to music.

I had my brand name figured out a long time ago: Stardust Inc. However, after the film STARDUST was released, I realized that I would have to find a new name, as many people would believe that I simply selected the name from the film. My Significant Other had a cute idea for a brand name the other day, one which he used on the 23rd birthday card he made me: Wink-Wink Designs. It’s sort of an inside joke between us, what with the way we met and all.

I baked this cake for my Significant Other for his birthday. It didn't come out quite as I had hoped...

I’ve made collages and birthday cards; baked cookies for various occasions; dealt with activities for my older sister’s Kitchen Tea; made the table numbers and table plan for the wedding; and even made an entire scrapbook (from scratch, with photos and pictures from magazines, et cetera) for my Significant Other. I also write poems on request (usually for special occasions). Oh, and as it’s my one friend’s birthday on Friday, I have already baked a lot of bear-shaped cookies, and will be baking a cake in the shape of a bear’s head to fit the theme of her birthday party: Winnie The Pooh.

The cookies I baked for my older sister's wedding.

Kitchen Tea invitation

Table numbers for the wedding (on short notice)

That said, I want to post an ad on Gumtree to generate a bit of income – I just hope people will pay me to do what I love doing. So many people have encouraged me to use my creativity and organize events, which makes me think that it’s about time that I take their compliments and scratch my courage together to take the first step. Who knows, maybe I’ll make a success out of it, and maybe I won’t. The thing that’s really important is that I’m taking the initiative and getting resourceful. If all goes well, I could even start a website. But that is a big step that will be left until another day.

A prescription bottle filled with love quotations ❤

The problem with Harry

19 04 2010

I’ll openly admit that I love the HARRY POTTER series – both the books and the film adaptations. True, there are bits in the films that do not correlate with the books, but that is only understandable, as different directors take to a book differently, and also because there is only so much you can put into a film without extending it too much so that it becomes tedious.

My Significant Other and I are currently busy re-watching the film series (again). I love watching the characters and actors grow up, both in height, appearance, and emotionally. One thing that does bother me about Harry, though, is the fact that he always basically has to scream out his spells, putting in that extra little bit of oomph before anything happens (case in point, when he casts the Patronus charm). I get it that summoning up the courage to cast a spell in the face of danger and death takes quite a bit of stamina and such, but really, once you pick up on it, it becomes annoying. The growing anger within Harry, which is displayed increasingly in the films, also irks me. There are times I really want to slap him, especially in one of the novels (perhaps the 6th, if I’m not mistaken) when he starts shouting at Dumbledore… what a rotten git, to put it in Rowling speak (I’m thinking of the Weasley’s in particular).

And Dumbledore… I don’t even want to think of it.

I have nothing against Michael Gambon. He has served his purpose as Dumbledore since the 3rd film, and does well to portray the character, yet I cannot feel that he is too – what’s the word I’m looking for? – harsh or blunt or just ‘something’ to be Dumbledore. He’ll never be Richard Harris. Now that man knew what Dumbledore was like; it was as if the man was the character brought to life, as if he were his doppelganger or breathing replica. I see Dumbledore as a soft-spoken, kind man who knows how to exert and express himself when the moment and circumstances asks for it. You will never find him out of temper, or behaving in any other way than his kind demeanour, even when dealing with difficult circumstances where force is required. Even MichaelGambon’s voice doesn’t ‘do it’ for me. In my eyes, he’ll never truly be Dumbledore.

Now I must admit, my favourite character from the books – and, it goes without saying, the films – is Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). After seeing the films and rereading the books, anytime I got to a section where Snape entered the room or started talking, I would see Rickman in my head, hear the deep, droning voice, and get both a feeling of loathing and respect/delight. How can anyone not like Professor Snape?! Of course one can say a lot about him, especially after reading the final book, yet because I know some people still haven’t read the novels (my Significant Other being one among them), I shan’t say another word on that.

One of the ‘problems’ with Harry, or maybe it isn’t Harry, is the actor, Daniel Radcliffe. I’m not talking about his film performance, oh no (although I do know that many, many of my acquaintances believe him to be a bad actor). No, the problem I have with ‘Harry’ is his looks. The first ‘looks’ problem I draw from the films, where, in THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, his hair is cut extremely short. That isn’t true to Harry and the books – his hair is supposed to be messy, sticking up here and there, as he can never get it right, even after it’s been cut. The hairstyle doesn’t suit Harry or Daniel Radcliffe, and accordingly, it kept niggling at me throughout the whole first sitting of the film, perhaps even the second and third sittings, as well… oh, who am I kidding? It still annoys me, otherwise I wouldn’t be mentioning it here in my blog!

The second ‘looks’ problem, luckily, draws away from the films and the Harry character and focuses more on the man himself. Daniel Radcliffe always looks so skeletal after the films, as if someone were starving him, or as though he forgot how to eat or something. This only starting occurring after the second film, if memory serves me well, but still, it isn’t a flattering look. Hollow cheeks don’t look good on anyone, not even catwalk models (who I particularly don’t have any feelings of goodwill and amiability for). Also, the suits he wears: what the…?! He looks so shiny, so stuck up, so… I don’t even know how to describe it, so I’ll just get off this point.

Another Harry problem I have, one which relates to the latest film, is the way that the director took the teenage emotions that are obvious in the book and made them so blatantly in-your-face, so you-can’t-escape-it-so-you’ll-have-to-endure-it, that watching it makes me cringe, inwardly and outwardly. I hate watching it, even though it is such a great book. I might be able to stand the film if someone were to edit those bits out, because really, in no way is watching any of it appealing. I recently played nanny to a nine-year-old girl (going on ten), and Harry falls into films children of that age can watch and enjoy, and she told me (while we were building one of my Harry Potter puzzles) that she really, really didn’t like the last film. Now imagine how it must make people old enough to know how those emotions feel to watch it…

There is much more to say, yet I believe that, for now, I have said enough… But I will say this, though: no matter how the films and books may differ, I’ll always be a Potter fan, even though some people like to think that it is evil, stupid, boring, or even downright nonsense. And I’ve been wondering: is there any significance to the fact that there are 7 books, and that Voldemort made 7 horcruxes…?

[“Read it out loud to me, mommy, I want to hear this bit… I’m not sleepy, really…”]

I’ve had better days, thanks

16 04 2010

People are always asking each other how they are, and for some reason unbeknownst to myself, they always feel compelled to answer that they are all right or pretty well. Standard question, standard answers. But for once, I’d like to answer in a negative way, and have someone listen to why I feel the way I do. I suppose it’s common courtesy not to pester people with how you are feeling, yet if someone takes the time to ask how you are doing, they should have at least a little bit of time and patience to listen to your answer.

So, if you were to ask me today, “how are you doing/feeling?”, my answer would most likely be: “I’ve had better days, thanks”. Now let me tell you why:

* Since my mother bought me the bridesmaid dress for my older sister’s wedding, I have gained 5kgs. Granted, I lost a bit of weight a while back (quite inexplicably), yet now I have gained that weight back, and more. I weigh a bit more than when I met my fiancé, and for a personage of female stature, that can be quite depressing. Also, I now weigh more than I did when I first fit my wedding dress at the end of October. I feel fat, miserable, and downright disheartened – thanks for not asking.

* About aforementioned point: I think they weight-gain could also have something to do with my ovaries that are messed up (not to mention water retention). I’m in a great amount of pain, have been for the last two weeks, and I feel bloated. Yes, I know, it sounds so typical for a woman to say something like that, and yet I am not kidding. Possible endometriosis, plus ovary pains and problems for 7 years (going on 8, now) is no walk in the park.

* I am scheduled to see my gynaecologist on the 6th of May, after which, on the 11th of May, I am going in for my laparoscopy. If that isn’t a good reason to feel terrified and despondent over, then I am not sure what does constitute a good one. We’re talking about at least 2 weeks of pain here – one of which I’ll most likely spend a surmountable portion of my time in bed. But hey, I’ll look on the bright side: perhaps only consuming liquids (hot, hearty soups, as winter is coming), I just might shed a few kgs. During the op, they’ll also be inserting an intra-uterine device (Mirena) – it just might help, thus I’m willing to try it. It’ll be more effective at regulating my cycle, et cetera, than birth control, at any rate, as the oestrogen therein isn’t good for me (I get migraines).

* Writer’s block. I have enough poems and short stories to set up two anthologies – one for the poetry, one for the short stories – yet that probably won’t happen anytime soon. I still have to work on the ending of one story, but I cannot seem to concentrate on it. I also find it difficult to find inspiration, or just to pick up my pencil and doodle nonsense words. My inner writer has vacated the premises temporarily, and I hope that she’ll be back soon… if at all…

* I still haven’t found a job. The media industry isn’t too fond of people who don’t have at least two or more years’ worth of experience. And even if experience isn’t required, I still don’t seem to fit their criteria – if I did, I would at least be getting interviews or something, right? Perhaps I’m just a lost cause. Perhaps my 3-year BA course, as well as my Honours in English (Cum Laude!!) isn’t worth squat, which means that I have essentially wasted 4 years of my life. Is it normal to feel this way once you’ve reached the age of 23? Certainly I’m too young to have a mid-life crisis… right?!

* My headaches are worsening into full-blown migraines. I don’t want to do anything of go anywhere; I just want to lie in bed with my cat and stroke her soft fur until the headache dissipates enough in order for me to make a cup of tea… that, or I just want to watch animated films and Scooby-Doo/ Angry Beavers episodes. I believe one can definitely put a label on that and file it under “Sad”.

* My Significant Other and I are going to talk a few things over at a place I want for our wedding venue. The only thing is, there’s probably no use in going there now and booking the place, as we’ll most likely only have enough money for the deposit by the end of May (or maybe even June). The wedding is scheduled for precisely a year from now, which is why I wanted to book my venue now. The venue I am looking at already has quite a few bookings for next year, and I don’t want to lose the date I have my heart set on… My obsessive compulsive self is hyperventilating into a metaphorical brown paper bag right now.

* I still feel like the ugly sister caught between two beauties. I wish I hadn’t cut my hair, I wish I hadn’t gained weight, I wish I had a job, I wish I could do more for my parents, I wish wish wish wish…

[My two gorgeous sisters, picture taken on my older sister’s wedding day (10 April 2010). Do you understand why I feel that I pale in comparison now?]

Thank you for the music

14 04 2010

Disney movies are the best. As I’ve told you, I’ve been watching all of their animated classics of late, which made me both nostalgic and whimsical for younger days… The only thing is, the songs have a way of getting stuck in your head. Good or bad? I’ll let you decide.

Imagine how it must feel to wake up in the morning with You can learn a lot of things from the flowers whispering in your mind. It’s been so bad that I come around dazed, as though I am still in a dream-like state – the music has infiltrated my dreams, and many times I cannot remember my dreams, although I always end up feeling slightly bizarre, frazzled, and (justly, I believe) even a bit concerned. I don’t even want to think how long the songs from ALICE IN WONDERLAND stuck… alas, now that I have mentioned it, it’ll probably plague me for the next day or two.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is lovely to have for background music in one’s noggin. Blame it on the fact that I fancy myself a kind of Belle (with my love for books)… even though Cinderella would be more apt, in my case… Still, the songs are great, and the lyrics are good fun, especially between Gaston and Lefou. SLEEPING BEAUTY is also nice, but in this case, it is not the singing that gets me, but rather the dramatic music – classical, which I like. My older sister used the Tchaikovsky (piano) track where Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip descend the stairs and walk into the room where their parents sat sleeping. Wonderful decision on my sister’s part; I preferred her choice over the conventional wedding march.

Oh, and let me not forget to mention ANASTACIA – I even have a Barbie doll of the title character! In the dark of the night comes stomping along quite pleasantly every now and again, which is enjoyable (as is If you can learn to do it). As coincidence would have it, ANASTACIA was the film in which I fell in love with John Cusack… or rather, his voice. Because the voice fit the character (the way the voice sounded in relation to the character’s physical appearance as well as personality and mannerisms), I was keen to learn who the actor was, and from there my love and adoration for Mr Cusack grew. What a great actor J

A new favourite of mine, one I don’t mind constantly blowing its swingin’ horn in my ears, is the soundtrack from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. I love it so much, I even have the soundtrack on my laptop! My Significant Other must think that there is something seriously wrong with me (or perhaps no more than usual) as I play it on a regular basis. The music just has such a feel-good quality to it… I think I like it so much because I love jazz music. New Orleans has such an amazing vibe and lively culture, one cannot help but fall in love with it. The rhythm, the blues, the riverboats, Mardi Gras, every little detail bursting from the seams with vitality. The film kept me thinking about Tennessee Williams and his play A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1947). What a play… granted, I don’t care much for Blanche DuBois, yet her character is well-written. Does anybody else find it clever that the trumpet-playing, lovable alligator is called Louis Armstrong? Like the American jazz singer/ trumpeter. Clever reference slipped in for ‘older folks’ to catch (yes, I’m only 23, but in relation to kiddies, I’m one of the ‘older folk’ – part of the dreaded Grown-up Gang).

I’d like to have jazz playing at my wedding. Just some mellow, relaxed, soulful tunes – I might even throw in some songs from the soundtrack of THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG for good measure *laugh* I can picture it already, me in my wedding dress, cutting a rug and getting all classy with my dance moves. Perhaps I should try to talk my Significant Other into it…

I actually have my own Disney Princess dress. Not that it matches any of the dresses that the princesses wear. It is simply a dress my Significant Other bought me a while ago: a beautiful gold halter-neck dress that reaches to the floor, all glitz and glitter. I can’t wait to put my tiara in my hair and take a few pictures wearing that dress. It might not be similar to the dress Belle wears, but the colour is close enough. I’ll post some pics on my blog once I’ve played princess (for some reason, I’m thinking about Dr. Facilier at the moment, the part where he sings: “Are you ready? Are you r-e-aaa-d-y? Transformation central” – it sure will be a transformation!)

In the meantime, I’ll just thank Disney for bringing me the music that I find both endearing and annoying – sometimes simultaneously. Like Abba sings, “Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing. Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing!” (Thank you for the music). Oh, and here’s a temporary Princess picture of me. I know the dress looks black, but it’s actually teal – the lighting made the colour come out all wrong. It’s the dress I wear for my sister’s fairy themed wedding. Each of us has Princess/Prince potential; all you’ve got to do is “dig a little deeper!!” 😉

Cat-day (as opposed to dog-day) blues

13 04 2010

I am an avid cat lover. So much so that I would like to incorporate cats into the ‘feel’ of my wedding, either by including them into the invitations or even on top of the wedding cake! But whether my kitten loves me at the moment is another story…

I’ll be first in line to admit that I am a bit odd. ‘Weird’, as my younger sister would say. My cat must wonder how she got such insane owners. Simple: we were looking for a kitten to call Smudgy, and when I saw her, my heart melted. And trust me, we couldn’t have found a stranger, more berserk cat than we did. At first I thought that she was intelligent, and that much is still true – but she uses her intelligent in the wrong way… like climbing onto the kitchen counter to see what I’m doing, or being extremely naughty and then running around like there’s lava lapping at her paws and the three-headed dog (Cerberus) from Tartarus not far behind. She also has a tendency to gnaw on one’s ankles… yet let me not dwell on her bad little habits. Let me rather tell you about this morning.

Smudgy is 4 months old, and she has yet to go for her first veterinary appointment. As such, we decided to take her to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League – it’s a good cause, after all, and they take good care of the animals. Poor Smudgy must have been wondering what she had done wrong this time in order for mommy to take her off of the warm bed and place her into the basket she bought a while ago. I knew I should have put her soft green blanket inside, but I didn’t think the road would be so bumpy, so I just put in a regular blanket. Once inside the moving car, she kept on meowing for a while, giving me her kitty eyes… or perhaps I should say puppy eyes – because even kittens can give you that sad, despondent look. I opened the lid of the basket in order to soothe and calm her, scratching her head and rubbing her smooth fur. And still she cowered against the side of the basket, her head lying on Tiggy (a little tiger toy she has).

Upon arriving at the AACL, I gave my Significant Other a look… one that said, “No, gods no, let’s get out of here now.” We got as far as looking inside the door of the AACL before exchanging glances and turning right around to get the heck out of there. I know that places like that are charitable organizations, and that what is being done there is for the welfare of animals, and that it is done with love… but I love my Smudgy, and there was no way I was going to let her go into that filthy, crowded, unorganized, dodgy-looking muddle. It actually made me feel dodgy/shady, as if I were going to leave her there to be ‘taken care of’, and then walk out the front door without looking back, scrambling to the car (which, in this scenario, would be standing in a dimly lit back alley in the darkest hours of the night) and speeding off, leaving a swirl of debris and trash fluttering in my wake.

When we got back into the car, I insisted on taking Smudgy out of the basket and keeping her on my lap, even though she seemed scared and she might claw the leather seats of my Significant Other’s new car. But this is how amazing cats are, you see: how adaptable they are. Okay, maybe ‘adaptable’, isn’t the word here, yet once she was out of the confining basket, Smudgy seemed better. I’ll admit that she shuffled around a bit while on my lap, poking her head into the crook of my arm/elbow as if to hide her face and gain comfort, but she remained calm for the most part. When we came nearer to home, I held her up in my arms to get a look at the outside world, and immediately the forlorn kitty eyes were going. Ever the curious cat, she seemed to sparkle, her keen eyes and ears taking in everything around her – and she stayed that way until we got home. I’ll rather take her to the Tygerberg Animal Hospital around the corner from our apartment and pay the money with a smile than keep worrying if she’ll come back ‘clean’ from the AACL… and I know that sounds mean/heartless *blush* Looks can be deceiving, and they sure got me.

I felt so sorry for her Sunday evening, as two cats from our apartment block came to sit outside our study window, staring at her. Both cats seemed friendly, and I went outside to pet them, even though the one was a bit shy. But the other one… geez… I think it must have been a male cat, because it kept sitting up and hissing at Smudgy, who was on the other side of the window. Smudgy was agitated, walking in circles, meowing a bit pathetically – her frustrated sound, as my Significant Other says – and commenced to bite my fingers, attack my hand and arm, nearly decapitate one of her toys (I think it might have been Tiggy)… She looked so depressed. She’s the new kid on the block, and the other cat was just coming to lay down the law and let her know who’s the tip top tom cat and who’s the closed in kitten under mommy and daddy’s protection *sigh* The animal kingdom: you’ve gotta’ love it.

Here at the apartment, my Significant Other always shows the cat who’s the dominant one (between the two of them? Him, supposedly). But he keeps forgetting that, in this household, I am actually the dominant one. I’ll hiss and claw if I have to, and I’m tough when I need to be, but if you handle me the right way, with a lot of love and care, I’m as docile as a kitten…

…Smudgy, however, is only docile when she’s sleeping. And that’s if we’re lucky.