Puppies!

three puppiesI do not know that I should listed as a blogger, as I have not written anything on here in almost a month. I can blog, should something strike me as something I need to get off my chest or just talk. I like to blog. I like to write. I think my absence on here is more symptomatic of something else. There are plenty of things I could bitch about, but let me leave that to others that could better form the argument with better prose and wit. I, instead, will keep my lukewarm emotions to myself. Let’s talk about puppies!

I like puppies as much as anyone else that doesn’t like puppies. There! I’ve said it! Don’t get me wrong, puppies are cute. They can be the most affectionate. I am just not a dog person. I’ve had a cat, Audrey for the last six years and her much more appealing.

I do not have to clean up my cat. She is self-sufficient. I do not have to walk her to go pee or poop. I clean her litter box, and she is happy to go again. If I do not feel like cleaning the litter box, she does not get stopped up or have accidents all over the place. She still goes in the litter box. Yes, I’ll have more to clean up later but that is a small price to pay. It all goes into the trash and out the door. I am very lucky to have such a clean cat. She takes care of herself. Sometimes she tries to groom me also by licking my hair or my arm.

Dogs, on the other hand, need to go walking on a regular basis. If I had a house instead of an apartment perhaps I would feel different. Having one of those hinged doors that allow the animal to go outside on its own would make it easier. I do not like the idea of standing in the rain while the dog gets the right feeling where it wants to shit or piss. With the cat, there is a contained location for her excrement. Dogs will piss or shit anywhere they feel it is necessary. My Audrey does not do that. She is a regal animal. Don’t get me wrong, she does sit in the middle of the living room licking clean her ass or hoo-hah, but she does it with grace and dignity.  Any animal that can always land on their feet when the fall suddenly and walk away like they wanted that to happen is regal.

My cat can be affectionate and the affection she gives me is not too much. She likes to sit in my lap, lay on my shoulder while I am trying to sleep in bed, and at my head when I sit on the couch. She likes to rub up against any of my dark pairs of pants. Other times I do not see her. She is off sleeping somewhere. You cannot get her riled up about something unless she wants to be. If she sees a squirl on the porch of a bird, she is running to it like she was a fire person on the way to fire. You cannot expect to her to understand what you are saying to her. She meows when she wants to. She purrs when she wants to. She snuggles when she wants to, not so with a dog. A dog is jumping for your attention the moment you get home. It constantly wants to play or do something- anything!   That is nice sometimes but not always. I like my down times. I like to veg out. I like to relax. Getting home so Fido can go can drag me a mile to piss and shit in his favorite place is not what I am looking forward.

Perhaps with the right dog, in the right situation, I could enjoy having a dog, but in my situation right now a cat is all I could handle.   Maybe two cats?

 

Spoon Girl: an explanation

spoon_girl_right_angleBefore you get any ideas that you think I know something about writing, I’ll let you in on a little secret. In 2012, I wrote and published Spoon Girl all in six months. At the time, I was excited about the story and couldn’t wait to spread my new found skills as a writer. I did my best to edit, but in hindsight I really need to leave it up to professional. Seeing my first book published was one of the triumphs of my life, having spent most of it like a fly on a wall for the rest of the world; people only noticed me when I was buzzing around them. I was mostly ignored. Of course, after I was published, people still ignored me, but I was on my way to being a big time writer. My great novel would have Hollywood busting down my door, wanting to produce my story into a movie. If you read Spoon Girl, you would know one of Jonathan’s (the main character) journeys is very similar, he writes a novel, and it becomes a movie. The book is deeper than that. Or I meant it to be deeper. His journey is more of self-realization and, spoiler alert, her journey too.

Jonathan “Jack” McVoy is the pseudonym for Jane Powers. Jane is a writer who was rejected as a writer when she wrote as female, but when she uses a pseudonym as a male, she is celebrated and thus becomes her internal conflict. We all have male and female parts and accepting them as they are is excepting ourselves. In the end, Jane accepts herself as she is, and eventually so does the public.

I entered my book into the Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Here is the review I received:
**************
2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards
Entry Title Spoon Girl
Author: EJ Eisman
Judge Number: 3
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect overall ranking. Ratings are not tallied, and are not reflective of placement in the competition judging. Our system only recognizes numerals during this portion of logging evaluations. As a result, a “0” is used in place of “N/A” when the particular portion of the evaluation simply does not apply to the particular entry, based on the entry genre. For example, a book of poetry or a how to manual would not necessarily have a “Plot and Story Appeal” and may therefore receive a “0”. A rating of a “0” does NOT indicate a low rating.

*If you wish to reference this review on your website, we ask that you cite it as such: “Judge, 2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards.” You may cite portions of your review, if you wish, but please make sure that the passage you select is appropriate, and reflective of the review as a whole.
In some cases, you may see special or out of place characters/symbols in your commentary. For example, you may see that a character/symbol replaces an apostrophe, copyright, and other “symbols”. These substitutions occur for various reasons – and are unavoidable. They are often [programming] misinterpretations due to encoding, installed fonts, web based content/sources etc. Since the “content”[data] of the commentary is comprised of data sent from several different computers (programs, fonts etc.,) and from the internet (online entry system), you may at times see an interpretation of what had been an apostrophe, dash, quotation mark etc.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 2
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 1
Production Quality and Cover Design: 0
Plot and Story Appeal: 2
Character Appeal and Development: 2
Voice and Writing Style: 2

Judge’s Commentary*:
This was a very confusing novel. “Spoon Girl” by E. J. Eisman is the story of a Nobel Prize nominated writer, his muse, and his collaborator. Jack McVoy and Jane Powers have written a novel, Spoon Girl. Jack has passed away and Jane is on her first book signing tour. But, the real Spoon Girl shows up at one of the signings. This sends the reader on a journey for the “true” story. But who is who? What is real?
It is a very interesting story idea and the characters of Jack, Jane, and Lisa are interesting and could hold the reader’s imagination. Finally unraveling the story of these characters could be a wonderful novel.
But there are way to many grammatical errors, misused words, run on sentences, partial phrases, and such that the novel is very hard to read , to follow and to understand. It jumps back and forth in time and between who is telling the story that the reader will be confused. Some very strong editing is needed to get this novel and this story where it needs to be.
*****************

I’m sorry that my book has caused confusion. Perhaps thinking of what is happening to Jack is a metaphor for what is happening to Jane in real life. It is a concept book. It’s a book of memories, and as with memories they have a tendency to jump around in time. Perhaps the trouble is that is written from Jack’s perspective for three-quarters of the book. At the beginning of the book, Jack is dying. The concept of Jack is dying. Knowing that Jack is a non de plume for Jane might make it easier to understand but that is a mystery; the characters we are forced to play in real life (Jack) in order to be noticed and the hidden parts everyone(Jane). Is it a love story? Yes! Is it a mystery? Yes! The story is all there.

I think Spoon Girl is a good book. I have gotten positive reviews from people. If it was better edited, it could be an excellent book. Publishing my first novel was a learning experience, and I will do better in the future.

Holiday Music

Old Music Notes   RetroI love the holidays! I look forward to the holidays, thinking of all the special food, getting reacquainted with old friends and even older family, and of course some people seem to go out of the way to be nice. It’s fun to see people think twice as they race out the door to hold it open just enough for me to get through. It warms the cockles of my heart and does wonders to the holiday spirit. And who can forget all those Rankin-Bass and Charley Brown Christmas specials on television. Nothing like that at any other time of the year. Classic movies! Cold weather! Snow! It’s all a feast for the senses. Nothing attacks the senses like the Christmas holiday music. No matter where you go, this holiday music bombards you as soon as you enter any public location, turn on the radio, or even if you walk into your own house. Music is so burned into your brain, it starts to play inside your head, even when it’s not being performed externally. Christmas tinnitus! Sometimes there is no stop to it.

I find this most annoying when I’m trying to fall asleep. Lying in bed, starring at an empty ceiling, my head is somewhere hearing and imagining 32 feet and 8 little tails running through the snow. Or perhaps it’s a Latin tune of a little boy singing “Mamcita, donde esta Santa Claus?” My head is weary of all the songs. “Jiggity jig, hee-haw, hee-haw, it’s Dominic the Donkey.” The songs all are playing in my head as well as old standards: Silent Night, Oh, Come All Ye Faithful, Silver and Gold, Here Comes Santa Claus and others. There must be a way of stopping this. There must be a way of getting these songs temporary out of my mind. “It’s the most wonderful time….” AHHHHH!

Deep breaths. I must keep my focus. It’s only a few more days left till next year at this time, when those songs get dragged out. “Simply having a wonderful Christmas…” There is much more to the season than just these songs. There’s the spirt of giving. “Children laughing, people passing….” NO! Must not give in. “Smiles on faces as folks rush home with their presents….”  STOP!

Well, I hope you don’t have same issues. May your holidays be happy and not blue. “I’ll have a blue Christmas without…”   Don’t get stuck in the same trap that I have. Limit the music. Don’t let it over take you like it has done to me. Be wary of department stores playing tunes, because you never know what your brain will trap inside itself, and bounce around your head like a rubber ball, never getting out. Medication can’t help you; you are on your own.

Merry Christmas. Buon Natale. Joyeux Noel. Frohe Weihnachten. Kala Christouyenna. Mele Kalikimaka. Kellemes karacsonyi unnepeket. Feliz Navidad. Prospero ano y Felicidad.

Labels

band-closeupIf there is one thing I don’t like are labels, because labels have a tendency to still stick even after the meaning for the label has gone. When I was a kid, every kid had a label, whether they wanted it or not. Some were good: brainiac, nerd (I suppose that is OK now, not so much back then), or jock. Other were not so nice: nose-picker, butt-picker, asswipe, skeeze, slut, whore, doofus, dumby, idiot, fat, roly-poly, blubber, elephant, kiss-up, brown-noser, skank, etc. You never knew where these labels would come from, but I imagined there was a 3M plant somewhere working overtime to keep up with the dumb-mand. When I look back now with my 46 year old brain, we were not very creative with our sharp tongues. Take for example Shakespeare. Now there was a man that could give a good put down, and still make it seem nice. Of course, most American’s believe that anything spoken in the King’s English is bound to sound better.

“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!” –Henry IV Part2

Can you imagine a child’s utterance to bully such words? Confusion abounds! “I tickle your catastrophe!” First of all, using tickle and catastrophe in the same sentence is bad ass. To put them together in this manner, beautifully ugly. The bully would no doubt beat the child to a pulp, just for not understanding such words. Next, the g-word would come out, because everything that is not understood is automatically listed as “gay.”   Now that’s a big word used quite frequently, from children. Still I hear it from adults as if it was a norovirus wrenching from their mouths. Again, from not understanding, who they might hurt. Gay is a tough label to drop, if you aren’t gay. Even if you are gay, and not loud and proud, it’s a tough label to move forward from.

I was mistaken on more than one time for being gay, in my life, as well as teased by family and friends, for my dainty ways. I’m sorry that I like show tunes and the theater. I don’t like to get my hands dirty (because I didn’t like to hear my mother yell at me as a child).  I wasn’t considered manly because it took years for a mustache to grow.   You maybe can imagine the anger and frustration that this book cover had to endure, because its contents were different then the label placed on him.

One incident at a Philadelphia Phillies game that I won’t soon forget. My friend Joe and I went to a Phillies game, he a Baltimore Orioles fan and I a New York Mets fan, both dressed in our respective team’s jerseys and hats. The New York Mets were in town, and we got tickets. For most of the game, other than for someone above us shouting, “Mets suck here!” everyone was nice. I didn’t have any trouble, until I went to the restroom. The Mets were losing, and there was slim chance that they might win, but being a fan for many years, they were not having a championship season. I slipped into the restroom and stood at an open urinal, when this guy comes up and stands in close, in his Phillies jersey, yelling every racist, sexist, gay-hating bile you could possibly imagine directed at me, the “queer” wearing the New York Mets jersey. I was standing away from him facing the wall, but I could hear others in the restroom becoming riled to his politics.  He was bating me. I was scared. Part of me wanted to punch him so fucking hard with all the pent up anger from my childhood, but he and his buddies would have had me on the floor beaten to a pulp. I instead, resigned to my situation, I said nothing. I finished up, despite his flailing arms in my face, and walked away. And then he spit on me as I left. Let me make this clear, this person was at least thirty years old, spitting like a two year old. He was obviously drunk, but that is no excuse. I made it out of the bathroom, and I went back to my seat, rattled.

My estranged nephew came to visit my parents two weeks ago, and I heard the same bombardments from them about him. I hate to hear it. I hate to think that my parents are still levying this level of anger, and for what? What has he done that is so horrible? Haven’t they grown up through years learning to accept people? That hate leads to hate? My dad talked about my nephew’s “wimpy” handshake. Dad, if you don’t like his handshake, how about giving him a hug? A big hug for your grandson, since you haven’t seen him in ten years, regardless of what you think of my brother’s ex-wife, or the whole divorce that put a wedge between the two of you. Perhaps you forget how “wimpy” my handshake was, and how easy for you and my brother to trample on my feelings, when it pleased you. You weren’t making me tougher, you were making me older.   Now, my parents see me in a different light. Why would you afford your own grandson the same chance to be himself?

Labels are bad. They are no good. Save them for your Holiday Cards, and not for you friend, relatives, and enemies.

Ugly Christmas Tree?

charley brown chistmasReading, PA, a town from whence my mail arrives, hit the national headlines regarding an “ugly Christmas tree” placed at the town square at 5th and Penn Streets. Immediately the local press dubbed it a “Charley Brown” Christmas tree because of it sparseness. It’s been called all sorts of names from pathetic to wimpy. Almost immediately, businesses collected $1000 dollars to get a “real” Christmas tree to display down the street, so Reading wouldn’t have to deal with this “shame.” They got another tree and placed at 2nd and Penn Streets.

There was a knock at my parent’s door, last week, in the midst of dealing the death of my aunt. It was my brother’s ex-wife, and my nephew, who I haven’t seen probably since he was two (did I mention that he’s 18 now?) The divorce was ugly, and despite my mother sending Christmas and birthday cards to my nephew, and a reciprocated occasional picture, there was no other contact. They drove down from the Poconos to see the living Charley Brown Christmas tree, and decided to stop by.

A Charley Brown Christmas is just one of those things that I just have to see, or it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me, along with It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version), A Christmas Story (on for 24 hrs), and Scrooge (1951, with Alastair Sim). Does it really matter? It doesn’t to me. If I don’t see any of them my world is not going to crumble into dust. My question is, does it really matter to Reading what their tree is? The tree is just a symbol, just like the menorah that stands next to it. Will Christmas stop because of this shitty tree that the local government has put up? No. Will faith be influenced by this sparsely populated piece of wood? No. So why? We are told the gift doesn’t matter. We are told to “remember the reason for the season.” How does getting another tree promote that?

It was thought, way before Christianity, that pine, spruce and fir trees would ward of evil spirits and illness, so people would decorate their homes with boughs over their doors and windows. Their belief were driven by the fact that these trees made it through the winters, and that reminded them that green plants would return in the spring.

It wasn’t until the 1600, when Germans started the “Christmas” tree tradition. In the 1830’s German settlers brought the tradition to Pennsylvania. Because they were considered pagan symbols by many, Puritans outlaws them. It wasn’t until 1846 when Queen Victoria and her family was illustrated in the London News standing around a Christmas tree, making it fashionable to have one. By the 1890’s Christmas trees and ornaments were becoming an American tradition. So what does this do to the ugly Christmas tree? Nothing. It makes me wonder where we’ve come when our symbols have more priority then the message it is supposed to be sending; peace, love, charity, and kindness.

http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees

Time Passes On

bettyI am no stone. I don’t have my head buried in the sand thinking that I or my relatives will live forever. There is never a good time for death, but the beginning of the holiday season is particularly unpleasant. First, the holidays are supposed to be bringing family together, not separating them forever. Many of my relatives died around the holidays, but thanks to selective memory, I try not to remember them when they died but as they lived.   The time ticks down from the time you are born. It is our destiny to die. We all try to cheat death for as long as we can, despite our vices, but eventually the clock rings.

This weekend my Aunt Betty died.

This was the second Aunt that died in my life time, both younger than my dad.  I didn’t think I would affect me as I heard the news from my mother. Aunt Betty had been ill for a long time. I won’t go into the details, but after a long struggle she succumbed, with her husband, John, of 47 years, at her side, her daughter, and her nephews. She was a matriarch to her two nephews after her younger sister died. She had a big heart that way.   John and Betty used to carry on the tradition of having parties, just like her parents, and invite the entire block. There were easily 75 people there at their parties, usually around St Patrick ’s Day. There was an abundance of food, music, singing, dancing, and there was always a keg. Those are the times I will always remember about her; her laugh, her humor, her generosity, and her dancing. You didn’t have to be anybody except yourself, and there was a must that you enjoy.

I rummaged through my pictures to find one of her for Facebook, and I found one of her and my dad. I cropped to just her. I posted it, and then it hit me. Tears. Not that I knew anything of Aunt at all, but I was sad. Sad that I didn’t have or take the time to know her better and sad that the world would not know of her. Perhaps her deeds will be forgotten, but I will always remember how she made me feel:

welcome

 

Reset in peace, Auntie.

 

Update (12/3/14):  Went to her viewing in NJ.  It was so good to see my relatives there, along with a room full of all of her friends.   She had so many friends, I was nice to see such a turnout for her.  It was a great send off.   RIP!

What Have I Been Doing?

girlfriend coverIf you’ve been keeping up with my Twitter feed, you know I’ve been working on a new novel, Girl, Friend for NaNoWriMo.   The story is Thriller/Suspense about a down and out musician hiding out in the Keys, befriends a local woman, who turns out to be more than he bargained for.

Here is a little taste of what I’ve been working on.  As you might know that in 2011 I started Mariline  for NaNoWriMo.

This is the first draft and I’ve not done any editing.  ENJOY!

CHAPTER ONE

It was a fine autumn day, the day my family lost their fortune. I wondered around the island that day, wondering what I was going to do, being already three weeks behind in the rent. I watched the sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico; the reds, yellows and blues all mixing together into a deep purple. The street bands would play on the pier and there would be celebrations until late in the evening as the sun disappeared on the horizon. The ocean smelled like urine as the wind blew in from west. When it had died down, the sand became more palatable to my worn pitted feet.

I had come to Key West to run away from everything, and did. I was not an angel; there were years of alcohol and drugs, and fathering kids around the world. Back in the day I was on top of the world, but after years of touring with my band, we had hit a stumbling block, the tour went bankrupt in Stockholm. We left our equipment there, and flew back to the states with the little money we had left. We scattered, being sick of being around each other for thirty years, and only having one, top hot 100 one-hit wonder song. I’m sure you’ve heard our song, it’s called “Mix Tape”, and we even had MTV do a “Where are they now?” on us. Now I’m stuck singing it in karaoke to a poor backup tape, and people looking at me like I have five arms coming out of my head. “Isn’t that?” No. I tell them. I don’t want them to remember me as a shrinking, fifty year old, gray haired old man, with fifty-cents in his pocket, and his sole possessions can be held in a duffel bag.

On the beach, the lapping water lulled me into a drowsy state, and I lied back and looked up at the stars, some stagnate, others seemed to float across the sky in a criss cross pattern. The moon was only half in the violet, and partially lit up the water, and sand. Occasionally, a runner would pass by, and wave to me in the darkness. They had gotten to know me, and I them. We looked out for each other, and it was comforting to see them out there. “Off the beach, Mr. Akins.” Jack was on night patrol, in his black shorts and polo; his badge flickered against the moon’s reflection in the ocean. He was twenty-six, about five-foot, six, and wore white sneakers. He looked down at me.

“Do you see the stars?” I looked past his big head. He glanced up quickly and then back down at me.

“Don’t have the time.”

“That is what is wrong with this world, Jack.”

“Maybe so, but you can’t stay here, Mr Akins.” His face frowned into his skull. I reached up to him.

“Give an old man a hand.” Jack pulled me to my feet.

“Thanks. You are not my son, are you?” He smiled.

“You ask that every night. Don’t you remember?”

“Yes, I remember, but things change so fast. Anything is possible.”

“I don’t have a musical bone in my body.”

“Oh, you don’t have to be musical. It’s has to be your mother that had a musical bone in hers.” Jack smirked and grabbed my arm.

“We should leave.”

“That’s what I thought.” He walked me to the Duval Street, said goodbye, and let me go. There was a lull in the tourists visiting, and just before winter traffic set in. Duval Street was getting back to the normal; I could almost see my friends without having to bust through a chorus line of drunken out-of-towners singing the Margaretville song. There was honesty in the air; the smell of food, sex, alcohol, pot, and tobacco. As the people passed me they was no judgment. I fit in with everyone, and they were all excepting of me. I didn’t always feel that way out on the road. Early on the paparazzi would follow us around the world and report on everything from bowel movements to zit outbreaks. As the band got older, it was pictures of arrests, and the drug and alcohol abuse. Here I felt insulated. They were all my friends, and they smiled, drunk or not, and the all knew. Some call it paradise, I began to call it home, up until the point all the money was gone. Now, I didn’t know what to call it.

Audrey

AudreyFor those of you that know me, I have an eight year old gray, longhair cat named Audrey. I’ve had her since I separated from my then wife six years ago.  My friend, DeAnne, was looking to unload it, and she knew that I’ve always wanted one.  It was Kismet.  Audrey took a while to get used to me, but I didn’t push her, and I think that we’d become close, and only a boy and his cat could ever be, which really means that over the last six years we’ve tolerated each other.  She likes to stand on my chest when I try to sleep, or lay on my side when I’m sleeping.  She has other moments of snuggling, but then she takes off to who knows where, and comes out when she needs food, water, or some more petting.  Otherwise she’s marching around the living room like we are in her domain, and silly humans should get out of her way.  I really don’t know why I like being shit on like this.  Maybe it’s my own personality?   I really like Audrey, and in the time she’s been with me, up until last week, she’s gotten out one other time, early on.  Last week she snuck out, past me and my girlfriend, and we didn’t even notice.

At first we thought she was just hiding when we got home that night. As I said, she isn’t around a lot, and she gets held up, like some junkie in a crack house, sniffing on cat nip she’s pillaged from unsuspecting cat toy.  Just an aside, I had a remote control mouse that disappeared.  I don’t know where it went.  I’m sure she has some secret hiding spot.  So back to the story.  In the morning she didn’t respond when I shook her morning treats, which she never,  Never, NEVER misses.  My girlfriend and I tear apart the house.  Not finding her, my girlfriend Kim starts to me about her cat that had cancer and hid away from everyone because the cat knew it was going to die, and didn’t want anyone to watch.  Just what I wanted to hear.  Remember we didn’t see her leave, so my imagination ran rampant.  Catnappers?   A careless apartment employee came in and Audrey ran out?  Aliens?  Someone of another parallel universe found a wormhole and came in an took her?  Did she learn how to use the toilet and flush herself to freedom?  Did she breakthrough the screens on the windows?  So many possibilities, but at about 10 AM we still weren’t sure she wasn’t still there (hiding in the going to die scenario).   Kim tells me to make up flyers.  Reluctantly, I did, and plastered them on the apartment complexes’ mailboxes.  I notified the apartment office as well.  Then there was nothing but to wait.   Kim thought a drive around the neighborhood might help.   I didn’t want to know that my cat was lying on the side of a road after being flattened by a bulldozer.  We were planning to go out for dinner that night, but we decided to hang at home over much deciding.  At  7 pm we got a call from a neighbor that saw my flyer; Audrey was on his patio.  I went over, picked her up and took her home.  And so I thought it was over.  She got out, but now she’s back.  Wrong.   A day later, she got past me, Kim, and Kim’s twenty-four old daughter, Sarah. It was quick!  I saw her at the door, and then she was gone.  There was no stopping her.

I ran after her into the darkness. I stumbled around the building looking for her and calling out.  Nothing.   Sarah brought me some treats, and I went around the building shaking her favorite treats.  Nothing.  WTF!  Here is a cat, someone I love, as my friends would attest to, and the cat has no response.  At that point, I was done.  If she wants to die outside, I was done.  I went back inside, angry, bitter, and feeling like I just been on a date that went well, but then the woman didn’t respond back to my phone calls.  In my defeatist mood, I opened the door, to Audrey, taken in by Sarah.  “Take that!” The cat is saying,  “I thumb my nose at your love and caring!”  How could I not take it personal? I feel like a fool.  How much more does this cat want from me?  What do I need to do to make this cat love me?  For her to run to me when I speak her name?

Well, I brooded. Yes, I brooded.   I didn’t pet her the next morning.  I didn’t even give her, her morning treat.  “HA!  I laugh in your general direction!   El gato!  Pussy cat! Fishy! (an ironic name I call her, even though she really doesn’t like fish)   Furball!”  I went to work and buried my feelings, into activity.  I asked myself all the questions I could.  “Did I treat her badly?”  “What did I do?”  “Why would she run?”  No answers, only more questions. I came home and she was there.  She didn’t try to escape and I came in and changed out of my tie and khakis, and slipped into sweats and tee-shirt.   I had a seat on the couch.  Audrey sized me up, both of us staring at each other, with the look of anger, frustration, etc., our whiskers saying all that needed to say.  She wander up to my leg and brushed against me.  I didn’t want to reciprocate, but when she jumped into my lap, it was impossible. Oh, she’s too awesome to be mad at.  She makes me smile when she purrs or when she jumps on me when I sleep.  And so what if I could build a whole new cat from all the hair from vacuuming my apartment.  She’s mine, and I still love her.