sneak up, with love…

Blu’s not feeling great.

While I was struggling to figure tonight out, he plopped in front of my keyboard. Knowing this, I let it go for a bit.

Watching his quietness turn into sleepy eyes broke my heart a bit. He’s always tired. Yeah, I know he’s 9, but 9 isn’t old enough to be old.

About two weeks now, he’s been over-grooming, sporadic about eating, still showing me he’s peeved about Nala. I keep thinking about that part, hoping and worrying about it, too. Was it really the right thing to do? Disrupt HBlu’s one-cat, one-human breed-preference world? Force Nala-Lilly to adapt to my vision of a new indoor world where I knew she’d be safe?

Anyway, Harley Blu has an appointment on Thursday afternoon. You see, when I scratch his lower back (ok, the top of his butt) something goes wrong. He presents like he expects it to be an enjoyable languid stretch, but it’s not. I doubt whatever is happening is not enjoyable to him.

A backward stroke behaves as if I am tugging an invisible string, invoking a jerky head movement. If I stop the stroking, he stops the bobbing. If I keep going, he’ll start with licking and then attempt to bite his own chest. I’m not too concerned he’ll do any self- damage with one canine and 5 tiny teeth, total. It’s still disturbing, though, and obviously quite not right.

I’ve also noticed his tongue slides out to the right when he eats or grooms or occasionally licks Nala after a not-so-playful tackling bite.

She still wants to be his friend and imitates him lovingly. I’m thankful for this because she’s never even attempted to jump a counter or my breakfront. HBlu doesn’t jump.

Amusingly, when he was a one-year old kitten I arrived home to an interesting scene. I didn’t really forget it, but a FB reminder popped up this past and startled the shit out of me.

Trust me, it’s worth the swear. You see, just the Friday the 13th night before, (night at 5:30 sucks, btw.) I heard a small ‘eek’ and a thud and nothing else. I peered through the pass-through and couldn’t see anything amiss. Still the silence was concerning, so I rounded the wall and blinked.

I knew they were sparring, likely not lovingly on HBlu’s part judging by the missing meow voice Nala-Mia was throwing. The octave she lost this summer is more like a breathy “keh-keh,” now.

The over-turned real-retro orange arm-chair reminded me of that time I came home from work and found the exact same scene. Only that was when Miss Fred was Blu’s companion. She didn’t want much to do with him, but he still wanted to be her friend.

Trust me, I’ve reminded Sir Harley of that and admonished him he’s being crotchety like Freddie. I do understand there’s no talking reason to a cat, but I try anyway.

My theory about that day had been the Blu was behaving badly, trying to make the jump from the chair back to the counter. He’s had a few a-little-too-short experiences, which I strongly suspect is why he doesn’t leap much. He’ll do the desk top, if I’m already sitting there. Hasn’t curled up on the dry sink for a while now, though.

Anyway, my 11-14-2012 theory might have been knocked out of the water by the knocked over 11-13-2020 scenario.

Maybe they were playing, too. Blu might have been playing. Miss Fred the Misread likely was not.  

I jumped up for a glass of water just now and found another semi-eerie situation. When Freddie’s health was failing, Harley would wait until she fell asleep and then crawl close to snooze near her.

Tonight, Blu was sleeping and Nala was nearby. I don’t like the comparison.

.

The song that lullabye-d Blu tonight: Hallelujah covered by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, of which I could unfortunately not locate a viable share for you.

However, Enjoy this Week’s New Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.)

Nik Kershaw Roundabouts and Swings released 10/16/2020

Dylan Fraser The Storm released 10/23/2020

Quote for the Week:

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-11-17-cats-and-the-same-composite-jakorte.jpg

Copy Cat: Love & Good News

Yes, this has been a stressful day.

It’s been bizarre, as well, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

How do we stay sane? Let’s try love. And good news.

So, this happened Sunday.

Not for the first time, but for the first extended time.

Harley Blu was lap-side first, a little bit lazy, because that’s where the sun was. Nala-lilly anti-spoke up with that octave-crack she acquired when ambushed last summer.

Sleeping so sweetly, on the porch, she screamed so loud she lost a section of voice that night. I shouldn’t laugh, but, dang. It’s just cartoon-funny when she looks at me so earnestly about to ask a question and only oil-deprived, rusted hinge noises come out of her petite little mouth. Trust me, she has plenty of other inflections and she uses them just fine.

Anyway, I invited her up. Patted the chair; showed her it was solid.

She was tentatively talkative using her audible “I’m here” announcement way she does when she’s behind Blu. Such a considerate sweetie. She also rolls when she’s in front. I’d say he’s getting more tolerant, but I really think it’d be more accurate to say he’s somewhat less irked.

She’ll roll, he’ll bite her tummy (ineffective due to his lack of chompers), then, immediately lick the same spot right away. Copy-cat routine with the ear: bite, lick. Weird but also wonderful when compared to the previous hissing and moaning, warning caterwauling.

HBlu huffed and snorted a little when she slid in beside him, but didn’t budge. Sweet Nala-Lilly (who btw is now more often referred to as Nala-Mia) parked herself shoulder-to-shoulder, eventually, laying her sweet chin on his front paw-arm.

Sir Harley of Perpetual Surprise’s first pleading looks are pretty priceless. I have to admit I was really just hoping I wouldn’t get shredded in a melee.

20 solid minutes and a painfully sleepy foot for me later, the end result was pretty priceless, too.

Additional Thoughts @ Knabble-Podcast: Knabble-Pod

Thought for the Week:

The Wrong Way (Cannoli Lesson Learned)

I’ve believed whole-heartedly that there is always a right way and a wrong way to do things.

I’ve also spent hours considering if that could even possibly be the case anymore, anywhere in this world.

If the right way is discipline, the wrong way must be the lack of.

And it’s all terribly subjective. And I do mean terribly.

There are countless mystified moments I marvel at the number of people whom must have agreed that something was a good idea way before it became a viable consumable.

My latest mind-thumper was an ice-cream error. That’s the nicest way I can think of wording it.

The bottom line is this: Ben & Jerry’s Cannoli ice cream tastes nothing like any East Coast, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts cannoli that I’ve ever had. Even the weird Tennessee ones, were better than the medley pint of unidentifiable uncertainty purchased.

I couldn’t figure it out.

I’ll give it ‘creamy.’ I’ll also award it nearly flavorless, maybe a bit of vanilla once in a while and I can’t confirm cannoli shells or shards or chips. Remember the old chocolate lined Nutty-Buddy cones? That summer convenience store single serve frozen flavor comes close.

Why is this my direction tonight? Honestly, because I didn’t want to.

Once a week shouldn’t feel so hard. Still, some days, it does. Today was one of those days. Long and…. long.

However seemingly self-righteous, the right way to proceed is for me to honor consistency. Remain proud. Be disciplined, if only for the reminder next week that I own nearly 13 steadily maintained years of written history. There’s an innately pre-determined pressure to reward myself with internalized-bragging rights overrides almost every objection I’ve ever come up with.

But, anyway. The reward tonight is not cannoli ice cream. Because, I persistently plowed through that in three servings last weekend, each separate scoop no more definable than other. I wanted to believe it would taste better each time. I also wanted to believe it would make me feel better; physically, mentally. Which is how I came back to what I always come back to: my version of reward-driven ego isn’t usually healthy. It’s more likely damaging, which is a psychological exploration for another episode of “Not Wanting to This Week.”

The thawing end-note for my Tuesday evening melt is that I did it.

Plus, I get to offer this sweet nicety:

Ben & Jerry’s Chip Happens lives up to its ambitious description. The Crunchy Potato Chip Swirls are indeed crunchy. Brand confidence restored.

Cannoli Lesson Learned: Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby. Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.

Quote for the Week:

Only Imperative

This evening is sadly more unscripted than usual.

I meant to move forward, but there’s another story to tell tonight.

There’s no reason to relive that grief, when other’s are so…

… fresh, isn’t really the word I want to use, but it gets the point across, and tonight, I’m tired of searching for perfection.

There’s one thing I’ve learned about this business of living and dying.

Even if you know, it’s still a surprise.

There’s no way to prepare, but we try to do it, anyway.

We tell ourselves “If this happens, I’ll do that.”

“When that happens, I’ll do this.”

“I’ll be….”

Strong. Sad. Brave. Devastated. Lost.

Reasonable. Relieved. Reassured.

Alone or in groups: family, friends, acquaintances.

You will be: all of them, at once, in a moment, breath by breath.

Whether you’ve been through this before or not, the emotional war is never won.

Because, there’s nothing to win in the face of loss.

There’s giving what you can and taking what you need. Relying on each other.

And my only imperative:

May Your Happiest Memories Stay with You Through This Time

and Forever into the Future.

I had the strangest reaction today. I thought, “I should call Mom.” And, I realized it’s been 18 years since I broke down in CVS trying to find the best last Father’s Day Card. Even if there was a direct line to heaven, there’d never be a data plan big enough to cover it.

Quarantine Things + A Quarter & A Carrot

  1. According to Imperfect Foods a “conventional carrot” is roughly the size of three quarters round, and equally lengthy as a 12 oz squeeze of honey. Bonus size veggies make me happy to help reduce food waste.
  2. When it comes to HBlu’s cuddle customs– one of us is usually more comfortable than the other. However, Sir Harley of Perpetual Surprise has the most gorgeous saucer greens, so I indulge him.
  3. Fu played “Whatev” for 30 points. Words with Friends seriously isn’t Scrabble.
  4. Oddly, COVID-19 spurred the musical creatives of social media to happily offer personal glimpses, unlimited private room shows and surprising collaboratives.
  5. Food folly. My ugly attempt at Bibimbap was tasty. Trying to pronounce the dish left me amusingly Hanson ear-wormed for two days.
  6. Sweet Un-Success. Picture perfect S’mores cups were absolutely faulty and certainly not the recipe’s. Self-rising flour isn’t fab for cookies. Or Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars, either. Texture/Taste: 2 out of 10. Only because you can’t really ruin a marshmallow.
  7. My bulbs bloomed without my help. I did that which I despise: gardened. Over-grown Hostas are split and scattered. Hopefully, they’ll overtake every open space and everything weedy.
  8. There’ve been a plethora of Porch Patrons. A COVID-19 drop and run Wendy’s Frosty from a friend. A new orange suspected stray friend for Blu. I tried to make him stick around by feeding a bit each evening. Then, one Sunday morning around 10:30 AM in broad daylight…. Harley Blu, bless his heart, thought the black and white fellow was another ‘friend.’ For which I am tremendously thankful.
  9. Having a “Let me try and explain this” attitude which other people analogically completely nailed better and with 100% more humor than I would have, since I don’t find the No-Mask morons humorous, at all.
  10. Finally, 16 weekend hours of multiple Acrylic-Pour art fails – last minute salvaged into squared quarter-sized 3/4” mini Rorschach masterpieces with a punch and a skewed eye.

Quote for the Week: