No Interpretation Feasible

Last night I was unceremoniously woken at 4:30AM by a vomiting cat. I had to pee so I got up & stepped in the vomit, which necessitated cleaning my feet & making it impossible to just drop back to sleep.

So I read a couple chapters of Harry Potter & The Methods of Rationality before falling back to sleep. This may have been an error in judgment. I usually read the prophets to sleep. Sorry, Isaiah.

My friend Christopher turned me on to this fan fic, which you know was no small undertaking because, well. Um. Cough. But this is Christopher. He knows things. Anyhow, I’m hooked.

Subsequently I dreamt that Christopher & I were visiting w/ his school friends. He is working on a PhD in physics in Los Angeles, but in the dream it was an undergrad in Engineering from UNR.  His friends lived in a part of town that was already  known to be enchanted, but thanks to overzealous Disney development had become possessed of evil spirits. 

It was an unholy mess. Disney was building a Pirates of the Caribean themed shopping center in Reno, which is the last place anything like that should happen, & also something like that should never happen. Ancient tortured souls now infested the shopping center. Christopher’s friends lived adjacent.

I drove over there with my actual real life roommate & Christopher, pointing out along the way all the times I had seen actual gnomes in this neighbourhood when I lived there, before Disney chased them all out. When we parked, I spotted a stone gnome & dragged Christopher over to a stand of trees to see that they were real. Christopher shrugged, said that there was probably a scientific explanation, & I patted the stone gnome on the head & told Christopher he was undoubtably right. Stone gnomes don’t talk, so the little guy smiled & went back to being a statue.

Christopher’s friends were two blonde girls who had both made foods Christopher & I can’t eat (him, nuts; me, celiac disease). They said that we were pussies if we didn’t at least try, but Christopher talked them out of it (& apologized to me out the side of his mouth). I mean it was a frigging nut cake, walnuts & wheat. My roommate made up for us by eating a bunch.

Christopher wanted to have a word with these girls, so he left me alone in the kitchen. My roommate went with him part way. I saw a leather bag on a chair & went to move it to sit down, but the second I touched it, it turned into Persephone, who has just died in real life, & I held her & sobbed & told her I missed her while stroking her. Christopher came out, saw I was crying, & asked what was wrong. I told her “She’s dead, but she came back for a minute to say goodbye properly. Don’t you see her?”

“Kellie, I’m sorry, but that is a purse.”

“No, it’s my cat,” I sobbed, but it did turn back into a purse, so I set it down. While I had been crying, I’d removed my glasses & now couldn’t find them. Christopher & I were looking for them, then saw my roommate had them in her hands. She said “Do you need these?” & then snapped them in half. We were shocked. His blonde friends came out cackling & said “Now you can never leave!” My roommate said she had a migraine but I could tell she wanted to stay with the blondes. I knew something was wrong so I shouted “Run!” & started running.

I was half way down a walk way/gang plank in the stupid shopping centre when I realized Christopher wasn’t behind me. A father & his kid told me “You’ve been sprinkled with poison. You need to rinse off,” so I wandered back looking for a shower. I ran into Christopher & he said, “I’m so sorry. My friends have become evil witches. I’m trying to talk sense into them.”

They were already closing around me, so I just tried to stand in the shower with my clothes on while they hovered over me with hands like claws. Then a little blonde angel boy appeared in an orb of white light & said “Don’t be afraid! They cannot hurt you now.”

The witches backed off & the little angel boy came closer to me. Then he turned into this guy:

 

The Simpsons’ social worker/black angel, Gabriel.


He then said “You and Christopher must vanquish this evil. Also you were black all along. Behold!”

And I looked down at my fingers & they started to go from my usual pallor to darker & I looked in the mirror & I was this girl from Bones

  & I turned to everyone & said “I knew I was black!” And my roommate handed me a Happy Meal & I said “I can’t eat this; I have celiac disease,” & the angel Gabriel said “Yes, you can, child. You’re black now.” So I shoveled that hamburger, bun & all, in my face while Christopher said “That doesn’t make any sense. African-Americans are also susceptible to the genetics of…” & then the alarm went off & I woke up.

DAMN YOU METHODS OF RATIONALITY!!!

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The Long, Fluffy Life of Persephone Girl Cat

 If her birth is known to anyone, they haven’t shared that story with me or the shelter. I got Persephone when she was, by the SPCA vet’s estimate, 8 years old. Her tummy was shaved from having just been spayed.

I did not get her directly from a shelter. A coworker had adopted her from the SPCA where I volunteered. This coworker then decided she was too much trouble, so she asked me “Does the SPCA get annoyed if you take a cat back?” I asked what the problem was & she said “I’m not normally allergic to Siamese, but I’m allergic to this one.”

When I saw her, after coming by the coworker’s house, I said “Well, you don’t have a Siamese. That’s a Himalayan.” The coworker then admitted that it was more that the cat was a pain in the ass. “She wants to be pet all the time. She’s more like a dog. I wanted a cat cat.”

Well, I couldn’t let her take her back to the shelter. I asked my fiancé of the time if we could please please please please pretty please keep her, & he consented if he got to name her, even though we had just adopted a kitten (Baby Neil Cat) a little while ago & already had Martin Cat on top of him.

The shelter had named her Rena Jean. She was not a Rena Jean. My ex named her Persphone (after the chick from The Matrix Reloaded, not the Greek mythological character) & that suited her. So we took Persephone home.

Persephone was a pain in the ass. She had straight up reactive attachment disorder. She would attack me every time I walked by, not in a playful-kitten-hunting-game way, but in a pissy-mean-girls-in-junior-high way. She’d swipe at my ankles with her claws out, and when I’d admonish her, she’d act offended that I’d even noticed her bitchy behaviour. Ten minutes later, she’d leap up & try to steal food off your plate. Later, she’d snuggle on your lap & purr like a proper Himalayan.

It took a while to gently & lovingly break her of the reactive behaviours. I didn’t blame her, because she’d been rehomed so suddenly after months of shelter time. She gradually mellowed after I applied simple behavioural techniques (never reinforce behaviour you wish to cease) & became comfy & happy in the home my ex & I shared together. 

No regard for furniture’s true form.

She was not entirely happy, though. We steadily became a less happy house, & Martin & Baby Neil Cat, both male tuxedos, excluded her from cuddles either due to racism or sexism; I was never able to decide which. No matter, as Persephone was decidedly human-focused, & the acceptance of the other cats was not terribly important to her.

We also took in a very violent stray who made things very difficult for my chill & cheerful cats. Thankfully our neighbours fell in love with him & took him.

We also had foster kittens for a while. As they were unvaccinated strays, they had to be kept in a separate room away from my grown up cats, but Persephone would sit outside the kitten room & longingly yowl for them. If one ever escaped, she’d run after them & try to scruff them. I’m pretty sure she had a litter or two before she ended up at the shelter. She loved babies.

When I moved to Los Angeles, Neil had never been in the kitty stroller before. Persephone was a fan because my ex & I would take her out in it & she got to meet new people who would inevitably fall in love with her. 

  
Neil was placed in it right before I pulled the truck out of the driveway for the first time. He then proceeded to freak out, scream, piss himself, & yowl for 2 hours straight. 

Neil yowled going up the mountain. He yowled at the California agriculture inspection station. He yowled down the mountain into Sacramento.
A short while after Sacramento, Persephone had had it with Neil’s yowling. She went over to him (the carrier is big enough for 3 cats), sat on him, & began vigorously washing his face.

Neil calmed down. Persephone continued to sit on & wash Neil the next four hours of my drive (yes, I booked. And didn’t stop).

  
When we got to LA, the cat stroller was the first thing to come out. I had talked with my new room mate & set up all their amenities in my bathroom. I set out the litter box in the toilet alcove, the food & water in an area near the tub, & wheeled the stroller in once all was ready. I opened the carrier, left, & closed the door. Those of you with cats know you have to rehome them carefully, smallest room to bigger at a time, to avoid nerves & messes. Then my roommate & my friends Scott & Kim helped me move in my crap.

I didn’t open the bathroom door again until everyone was gone & it was time for bed. Neil had managed to get under the sink; Persephone was keen to join me, but not to explore yet.

My roommate & I left the house for a while the next day (I think to get our hurr did) & I came back to this:

Hint: they are lumps.


So it took a while for them to feel free to explore their new digs, but Persephone was the first to claim damn near everything, including the lap of her new roommate.

The rest of this is mostly going to be photos, because that is why the Internet was created. Cat photos.

 

Meeting a baby dragon for the first time.

  

I’m in a basket!

  

Happy kitty face.

  

The one time Neil wasn’t selfish & actually washed Persephone back.

  

Kisses!

  

Pretty little Monkey Duck Otter Sheep.

  

Pretty kitties.

  

She wasn’t shy about cuddling.

  

She wasn’t shy about anything.

  

Snuggle buddies.


She died of lymphoma at the age of 19 on April 29, 2015. I was with her at the vet when it happened. We tried to keep her alive with cortisol shots for a bit to support her breathing, but she just stopped doing things. Every breath seemed like a battle. Neil stared at her 24/7. She was way down a K hole when she went, so I finally got to hug her one last time.

My boyfriend liked to say “She’s a good cat.” I would always correct him, “She’s a terribly behaved cat. But she’s a good girl.” And she was. She wanted to meet everyone (except dogs, as I found out at St. Francis’ Day at church) & she wanted to get into everything. If I was not doing something to her exacting standards, she’d let me know with a series of pissy bleats. She liked ice in her water, the exact opposite litter as Neil, & if her bowl was down below the half way mark, she’d place her paw on my mouth to wake me. If I did not get up & had the audacity to close my eyes again, she’d punch me in the face.

She never once in her life retracted her claws. 

One night when my boyfriend visited, she spent the night patting him on the forehead randomly. He reinforced this behaviour by buying her a dress.
 

That she genuinely enjoyed wearing.


She would pick fights with Neil & be incensed when he defended himself. Typical girl. Always walked slowly, deliberately, looking you in the eye. She was cross eyed.

She legit watched the Kitten Bowl.

She inserted herself into everything and made messes.

  She was wonderful.

Someone wrote her name on the prayer list at Saint Thomas of Hollywood. It was not me; I wrote down three humans on that same day, but not my cat. Whomever did that, I’m pretty sure St. Francis clapped. Also I love you.