Just A Little Birthday Message

Image may contain: coffee cup and drink
To all the people who stomped me, the ones who kicked me when I was down, who tried to kill me or who tried to destroy me so I would kill myself. Everyone who sneered at me and insulted me or laughed at me. Who’s laughing now?HAHAHAHA…the best revenge is living well. To everyone who gave me your love, wisdom, kindness and support, thank you. You make my life worth living. Blessed be.

Now if you’ll excuse me – the hubby is baking…

Tickled Pink In The Sunshine

My blogging bestie Pinkie has nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award! Thank you, Pinkie! I shall do my best!

SunshineBloggerAwardNew

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog so that other people can visit them
  • Answer the 11 questions put to you by the nominator
  • Nominate 11 bloggers of your choosing and provide them with a new set of 11 questions to answer
  • Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts
  • List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Award logo within your post or on your blog site

I was reading along in Pinkies Sunshine Blogger Award post hoping like crazy she would tag me, and she did! YAY!

Now about those 11 questions –

1. Have you ever cosplayed, if yes.. what’s your best cosplay? If no what would you cosplay if you could?

No, I’ve never really exactly cosplayed. But I was a professional exotic dancer for 15 years and during that time I had a number of acts that involved costumes and music designed to work together for a special show. Does that count?

megothlolifairy
This actually is me – 30 years ago – the wings are photoshopped though.

If I could do anything in cosplay…I am partial to the gothic lolita look. Any and all goth lolis, although Rory Mercury of Gate is probably my favorite. Which I totally could have pulled off in my younger years, but now I’d look more like gothic grandma. I’m actually a pixie, so anyone pixie like. I also love crossdressing, so anything boyish and athletic (again, I look too old for it now but), Eun-chan from Coffee Prince would make me happy!


2. What is the least geeky thing about you?

I would have to say the outdoorsy athletic part of my life. I kayak, hike, bicycle, rode and trained horses, and for many years I was a bodybuilder as well as a dancer. You might have thought I’d go for the exotic dancer thing – but I think you might be surprised how many dancers are really geeks, gaming nerds, etc. in their “real” life.

meonsouthbound
Yes, really me, galloping a race horse around 1985

3. If your life was ever turned into an anime, what type of anime would it be?

Slice of life is my favorite genre, and I think my life would make a decent slice of life anime, if it were properly written and edited down to 12 episodes. It would probably end up ecchi and sort of noir. Like the first episode would be dark, skim over the awful childhood with a scene or two of horses for the bright point, maybe a second episode with the 8 years of marriage to an abuser with some of the high points (I have to laugh – yeah I was HIGH alright) being RHPS fandom pulling me into that different altsex accepting world, and then the second half when I turned my life around and some of the adventures I had (waggling eyebrows), and finally settling down with my dear hubby. Well – but that set off a whole different adventure though…


4. If your life was ever turned into a video game, what type of game it would be?

It would be an open world adventure game. One of those where you can concentrate on exploring, or fighting, or magic, or healing skills, or crafting great weapons and magic jewelry , or breeding and raising the best horses/cats/dragons, or all of the above, whatever you really wanted to do.

5. If you’d have to choose any other archetype but geek, what would you want to be?

OMG. That’s hard. I bring my geekiness with me no matter what I’m doing. Is this real world archetype? Because my next thought is magic user or healer. Witch. That’s it, witch. But I am a witch. A geeky witch.

So I looked up a list of archetypes  and healer is on there (although I’d hardly compare myself to Mother Theresa, she is someone I admire). I also see adventurer and while I’d consider my adventuring rather mild – I’ve traveled a lot and I’m perfectly happy setting out with nothing but a backpack and a bag of dance costumes – I’m not Indiana Jones or anything. But I’ve had other more…uh…normal…people act like I’m like wild and crazy and fearless with my travel and lifestyle. By that standard though, I think you’d have to consider any of the modern nomads living in an RV an adventurer. And yeah, we are kinda.

6. What’s the worst thing you have ever done to a friend?

Cut them off. Cut them absolutely completely and totally out of my life for good. I’ve done it twice. Both times for what I considered good reason. The first friend, once my best friend, certainly one of my oldest friends decided to try and find out what it was about cocaine that made her brother so addicted to it that he wound up killing himself with it. Cocaine turns you into the person you hated most in your life and in her case, it turned her into her abusive father. I feel like I didn’t cut her off, so much as she turned into another person entirely – who was no friend of mine. When she picked me up and pinned me against a wall and threatened my life, I was done.

The second situation was a bit more complex. I will say that any friendship should have a balance. Friends support each other during good times and bad, sickness and health and all that. I never mind being there for someone. But when I’ve been there for you literally every single day for months, and my hubby goes into the hospital and you shrug it off with “eh, he’ll get better” and then go back into all your problems…when his problem is actual life or death and yours are not – well, I tend to feel like you don’t give a shit about me and my loved ones. So why should I give a shit about you and what am I doing spending so much of my time to support you?  Especially when right at that moment, I need to support my hubby. If you force me to make a decision – well it was some years ago, but I have been married to this man for 30 years now for good reasons.

I still feel like it was a shitty thing to do to both of them. But I also feel like it was the best decision for me. Could be it was easier for me because I had already been through cutting off my family – which is truly the only thing you can do when you are the family scrapegoat in a family of narcissistic psychopaths.


7. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage and tells us about when you had too much off it.

vodka bottle in the snow
Photo by Ibrahim Unal on Pexels.com

Oh boy. Vodka. Which time do you want to hear about? Well, here’s a pretty funny one. I used to always make sure I was working – dancing – on my birthday, because of course all your regular customers come and even total strangers tip you well and buy you drinks when they hear it’s your birthday. So I was working, dancing, drinking to excess. I got up on stage to do my set. I used to often dance hard and fast – that athletic thing – and I was zooming around the pole, holding with only one hand, both feet off the floor. Did I say I was holding with one hand? I guess I forgot to hold on. I literally took flight (I am told) and flew through the air halfway across the room where I slammed into a wall and slid down to the floor, apparently scaring half the room to death. LAUGHED. GOT UP. WENT BACK to the stage and FINISHED MY SET. Laughing my ass off the whole time.

They sent me home.

And the running joke was this one. It was a running joke of the people around Billie Holiday that you never wanted to pick up her “water” glass for a sip of it – because it was probably vodka. Well, the same was true for me. I’ve seen more than one person pick up my frosty glass of water for a sip and be quite surprised. The best one was a customer sneering “Oh I know that’s just water.” “Have a sip” I offered. It was straight Absolute Vodka with a twist of lime. You shoulda seen his face. Evil snicker.


8. How would you take over the world, in a world of endless possibilities? Be evil!

First off, I want to look like Ming the Merciless (from the 1980 movie) and Maleficent (by Angelina Jolie) had a non-binary baby who grew up to dress like Dr. Frank-n-furter (1975 RHPS). Now that we have the important shit settled…

I’ve been struggling with the rest of it for a few days. See, I’m basically a nice, compassionate person but if you’re really going to just hand this earth over to me…and I can be evil as I want to be…

I’d start with a wave of abductions, using my trusty flying saucer so even if people reported them the government would discredit them. I could get away with it plenty long enough to pick and choose a few hundred or so people I feel worthy of continuing to live, either because they are useful or entertaining. We’ll pop them into a nice, safe bunker somewhere (where they will immediately begin to plot my demise, of course).

Then I will set off a series of smart bombs – the ones that only kill people and leave the buildings, plants, animals and natural resources undisturbed. Bye bye.

After which, I’ll turn my selected people loose to go on doing whatever they do and ride away in my horse drawn RV to explore the world now that it is free of most of those pesky people.


9. Which anime character you think could stop the you from question 8.

Rimuru Tempest would just absorb me. Slurp. But then he would gain the power to look like a cute chibi goth loli me.
10. Which anime characters would be the henchmen to the you from question 8.

Oooo – henchmen! Hozuki of Hozuki’s Coolheadedness. He would keep me nice and organized and put down any nasty little rebellions in the bunker with his trusty spiked club. He’d bring along the rest of his cast, too – Nasubi, Shiro, Kakisuki, Rurio, Peach Maki – anyone else he figures he’ll need. He’s welcome to plant goldfish.
11. If you could make one true wish, but it had to be at least  somewhat selfish, what would it be? 

The treatment for kidney disease has not changed significantly in the last 60 years. The reason for this is the two companies that provide over 50% of the dialysis in the world are perfectly happy with patients dependent on the treatment three times a week for the rest of their lives in order to live . The much touted kidney transplant is not an actual cure, but a different set of problems. Most transplants don’t last more than five years, during which patients take from 13 to 33 drugs daily for immunosuppression and the side effects of the other drugs. Only 35% of dialysis patients live more than five years after initiation of dialysis. There’s a lot of reasons and it’s a complex subject – but you need at least this much background to get my wish.

Since the powers that be are perfectly happy with the treatments as they are right now, there is no funding available for research into better solutions such as 3d printed kidneys, or kidneys grown in the lab using your own cells, or stem cells injected into your kidney that will help it to start creating new kidney cells and increase function, or using genetic modification to stop rejection of a transplanted kidney instead of drugs. All of these great advanced ideas and more have been suggested and to some extent researched, but it eventually comes to a point when they cannot get funding. No funding, no research.

So my wish is that somehow, some way unlimited funds become available to those researchers who truly want to help patients with kidney failure have a better life and a better future with these great new ideas. 

And then, of course, I want my hubby to be first in line for the first lab grown from his own cells kidney. That’s the selfish part. Because I enjoy his company.

Now that I’ve said that – for all the wrong reasons (because Medicare pays so much for dialysis -about 35 billion a year – even though it’s actually only 7% of their annual budget) – the Pumpkin Head signed an executive order to fund that exact research and development. Right before the whole Coronavirus hell broke loose. I know the NIH set up some contests for ideas and gave some grants, but I don’t know what the status of it is now. I hate to say this, but I am hoping the gov’t will continue to push for it – because Coronavirus leaves about 1/3 of the patients who were hospitalized with it with significant kidney damage. In other words, they are or soon will be on dialysis. In fact, some medical facilities were running out of dialysis capacity as well as respirators.

Sorry to end on a sort of dismal, depressing note. But that’s my wish if I could have anything.

My 11 Questions ARE (drum roll)

  1. What is the one piece of music that always just misses the cut when you chose a favorite for a blog tag or award – here’s your chance to finally share your second favorite!
  2. What is your number one feel good piece of media, be it a book or anime or TV series or movie, the one that will always make you feel better on a bad day.
  3. What is the longest streak you have going on something, and what is it? This could be 485 days straight logging into a game, or 35 days of journaling, 20 days of exercise, whatever you do that you keep track of that way. Brag!
  4. What is one thing you wish you could make time for every day – that pesky streak you just can’t keep up – be it exercising, language study, or a few minutes to meditate. What do you think it would take to help you do it?
  5. What is the best anime you’ve watched in 2020. Doesn’t have to BE a current simulcast – just the best thing you’ve seen this year. If you don’t watch anime (GASP) the best live action series.
  6. What is the best book you’ve read this year?
  7. What game currently has you completely in it’s grip? Why?
  8. If you could have anything, what is your wish? (I stole it Pinkie, but I love it, hope you don’t mind)
  9. What do you really miss? Wax nostalgic for us about something you love that isn’t around any more.
  10. How often do you or your family cook? If you don’t cook, whatever DO you eat?
  11. Speaking of eating, what dish did you literally go out and try because you saw it on an anime (or live action show) and it looked SO GOOD?

 

My 11 nominations…(in no particular order)

1.Crow’s World of Anime

2.Fiddletwix – The Anime Madhouse

3. The Animanga Spellbook

4. I Drink And Watch Anime

5. Tiny Ugly Animal

6. Shallow Dives in Anime

7. Biblionyan (I know you’re on a break, dear, see you when you get back!)

8. Fred au natural – This is my place

9. Anime Rants

10. Lita Kino Anime Corner

11. YOU!

No, seriously, feel free to volunteer for this award in the comments. I actually only follow a few more blogs than this, and some of them are not remotely anime related, and/or they don’t seem to do tags, awards and so on. So if you want some of this sunshine, just hop on board! I also am sure some of these folks have done this award already and might not want to do it again, which is understandable.

I hope you aren’t dead of boredom from this long post. Blessedbe.

What the World Needs Now…

Darkness cannot drive out darknessonly light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr

blog-award-logo

The ever positive Pinkie of Pinkie’s Paradise created this award way back in February of 2020 and I begged for one. Thank you thank you thank you Pinkie! I LOVE THIS AWARD.

And then life intervened and one thing led to another and I never did get to write a blog post for the award. Which I think worked out okay, because heaven knows we sure need some super happy love spread these days, too. So I’m finally doing this tag and hopefully it will rejuvenate it a bit in these dark days, spreading a bit of sunshine around the internet.

Here’s the rules:

  1. Thank the one who tagged you and if at all please tag the original post as well. This is my first blog tag and a bit of a passion project so I would like to see where it spreads! Oh and use Super-Happy-Love as a tag!
  2. Display the Super Happy Love Logo in your post Share the rules!
  3. Choose a minimum of 2 out of these 6 prompts to answer in this blog! More is always allowed! These six prompts are as follows!
    – Tell about a person you love, this can be a friend, partner but also a celebrity or even youtuber who means a lot to you. As long as they once took breath on this earthly realm you are allowed to  pick them… Tell us why you love them.
    – 
    Write something about a fandom or franchise you love. It can be your favorite game series or about just about anything that is bigger than just a single product! Tell us why you live this so much!
    – 
    Tell us something about a character that you love. Do you have a Waifu, a Husbando, maybe a mentor or someone who taught you a valuable lesson. Tell us why you love them.
    – Tell us something about a piece of music that you love. Does a anime intro mean a lot to you? Did you have a special memory to a pop song, like your first dance at your wedding? Maybe a piece of video game music? If you love it, you should tell us why!
    – 
    Show us why you love a piece of media so much! A Book, A Game, A Anime, A Movie maybe even a random piece of fan art, you are free to pick as long as you can show us why you love it.
    –  
    Write something about yourself that you love! For those who like a challenge, there is a hard mode in this blog prompt as well. Tell us why you love a certain aspect of yourself
  4. Put on your rose tinted glasses. For once you are allowed to gush about the things that you love without having to balance it out with negatives so that you seem objective. In fact your are actively encouraged not to bring negativity into this tag. So no “Nowadays..   is poopoo but back in my days.. .it was great. Just say it was great! Love is blind after all!
  5. Tag 6 bloggers you love so they can take on this challenge as well.
  6. Everyone who comments something lovely about your post ALSO gets nominated. (Should they so choose.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ The Tags

#1 – Someone I love. I’ve never been one to fall in love with a celebrity, so you’ll have to settle for real life everyday heros. Yes, there are two. I won’t share their real names, but perhaps someday they will be meandering around the Internet and will see this. Because I’ve lost contact with two of the most beloved people in my life through one thing and another and I wish I could just give you a call some time.

The first was a young man who was larger than life. He called me out of the blue one day and announced, “I’m a singer, a musician, an artist, and a bisexual. Would you consider dating me?” I laughed until I had to sit down, then replied with, “I’m an artist, a shit shoveler, a writer, and a bisexual. Are you sure you want to date ME?” The upshot was we dated for a whirlwind six months or so, never exclusive, but the treasure was that we became deep friends. More than anything else I owe him for the day he told me, “I don’t know who’s been loving you, babe, but they ain’t been loving you right.” It was literally the first time anyone ever told me that I was not the complete loser and worthless waste of space, air and food my abusers had convinced me I was. In that moment he flipped a switch in my brain that probably saved my life. He made it okay for me to be me and to be happy.

The second is one of the bravest, strongest and most beautiful souls I have ever had the privilege to know and love. She walked into the bar where I was working one night and got hired as a fellow dancer. She was a gorgeous leggy lion with a thick, black mane to the middle of her back. Her first night she sat down and started talking to me and didn’t stop for a couple of hours. She did pause once and say “I don’t know why I’m telling you all this” and take a breath before she went on. I sat gobsmacked and fascinated. We were briefly roommates and even more briefly lovers, but most of all we were the best of friends. I promised to be by her side when she had her gender reassignment surgery, but time and travel and business intervened and we lost touch. I’m sure she has long since had that surgery, and last I heard she had an amazing life going holding swinging sex parties.

In any blessed life you will have a few people that you can sit down and talk to about ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING and get back only love and acceptance. (At least I certainly hope you do). For some of us that is harder to find and even more necessary and precious when we find it. These two people gave me that love and acceptance during a period in my life when it literally made the difference between a life lived with love and joy and acceptance, or in misery and self hatred. I never give up hoping to find them again some day.

#2 – A Fandom or Franchise I Love 

Godzilla and I have been buds as far back as I can remember. I was born only 5 years after his first appearance. Just in time to see him on afternoon TV in thrilling black and white about once a week – or so it seemed. Being able to rage out of control and mash huge buildings, swatting tanks and fighter jets aside like flies was an appealing life style to me then. Some days, it still is. Through reboot after reboot I always find something to like or dream about in every new incarnation. But I think it always comes back to being an irresistable force that mankind can never completely conquer.

#3 – A Character You Love (oh yeah, I totally intend to do all six 

Tohru Honda of Fruits Basket. Because she embodies unconditional love. That is the one thing she offers without fail to all of her friends, all of the zodiac children, and far as I can tell to everyone she meets. And yet she isn’t the least bit full of herself or self aware that she is an angel. She has worries and self doubt like crazy and this brings her down to earth. It gives her friends the opportunity to reassure and support her so that she is a true friend, not just someone you admire but could never live up to. She’s just about perfect and still perfectly human.

#4 – A Piece of Music I Love We could be here all day. Oh, just one?

My life, especially the first 25 years of it, was not really a good life. One of the things that helped me survive it, was getting lost in rock’n’roll.

When I was in my teens my mother and her current husband took a trip to New Orleans and dragged me along. They spent most of the trip saying “NO NO NO” in increasingly frantic tones of voice while I soaked in Bourbon Street, the blues, the queens, and the first time ever feeling like I belonged somewhere. The high point, however, was being allowed to slip into a club where Dobie Gray was performing. He walked down off the stage, and knelt in front of me, took my hand, and sang this song to me. I. Was. Gobsmacked. Still am just thinking about it.

#5 Show us why you love a piece of media so much

I am one of “those” people. I have been to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show over 500 times. I have played Columbia and Janet in the revue. I have seen it performed live on stage twice. For the first time in my life I had a group I belonged in. I was accepted.

And when I reached the breaking point of my life – the little broken bit of life raft I held onto was this.

“Don’t Dream It, Be It.”

From there, I rebuilt a life that I wanted, and that I love.

#6 – Something about myself that I love

I am “what you see is what you get”. I do what I damn well please, when I damn well please. Doesn’t mean I don’t love people and sometimes choose to do whatever it is they want to do. It does mean you shouldn’t ask any questions you don’t want the answer to. I’m not binary and I don’t fit into any little box of any kind. I do, however, fit into hollow trees and small caves.

Nominations!

Nominating six bloggers I love without any overlap with bloggers who have had this tag before is going to be impossible. On the other hand, if you like, it will let you gush all over again about some of the other things you love. I mean, just ONE song? I know we can all do better than that!

Bloggers I love including old friends and new and in no particular order:

MoeGamer who I expect to gush about more great old games – and maybe some new ones, too!

Terrance Crow/Crows World of Anime who clearly enjoys sharing the love of anime and blogging.

Irina of I Drink and Watch Anime who I suspect has been tagged with this before – but I’m sure she has some love left to share…

Biblionyan is owned by four cats, what better recommendation is there?

Tiny Ugly Animal is a new friend. I can’t wait to learn more about them!

Shallow Dives in Anime– hah, let’s see you reduce this to an @ 😉

So there, hah. No obligation or anything. But I will say it was very nice today to sit back and contemplate things I love to share, instead of gagging on the news and fretting over things we cannot change.

Blessedbe

Totally Awesome Tomodachi!

totally-awesome-tomodachi-award-1

I’ve been tagged a Totally Awesome Tomodachi! I feel so special! No, that’s 100% totally true.

It is one of those interesting quirks about life that if there is something you really, truly, deeply desire then the minute you give up and stop looking for it, it will come into your life.

I have been blessed with being part of several really special online communities since I was dragged kicking and screaming onto the Internet 20 years ago. But time goes on and if one thing is truly constant about the Internet (and life) it is change. Those communities faded away, and even though a few of us managed to stay in touch – it isn’t the same. I really missed having that feeling, that comfort level of a community to talk to – and to listen to. I tried a few different things, none of which quite fit, and shrugged it off thinking, well, that’s too bad.

But of course I continued to follow all my interests online, including anime and gaming and eventually I fetched up here, at WordPress, reading and commenting on posts. And the next thing you know, there it was, a community.

One of the bloggers I really enjoy is Pinkie, of Pinkie’s Paradise. We share an outlook of hopefulness and positivity – but she’s much better at spreading the light than I am. I knew she was up to something yesterday – because as we were walking home from the bus stop my hubby spotted a bright pink colored pencil – almost new! – laying on the sidewalk! Of course, I brought it home, tucked it into the pencil jar by my desk, and opened my email – to find that Pinkie had gifted me with a Totally Awesome Tomodachi Award! It’s so cool! You should read her description of me! You know how there is this saying, I want to be the person my dog thinks I am? Well, I’d like to be the person Pinkie thinks I am. (BTW Pinkie, your description is pretty close – well done! I absolutely would mention you if I went camping – but I warn you, I will beat you at games. I’m not THAT nice!)

Thank you, Pinkie, with all my heart, for this Totally Awesome Tomodachi Award!  

Okay, here’s the rules:

Put the Totally Awesome Tomodachi  Award logo somewhere in your post! (check)
-Thank the person who nominated you or thank the person who won you a nomination! (check)
-Nominate up to four bloggers but DO NOT mention them by name.
-Write about your four nominees, using subjective terms only.. as if you were a friend describing them to another friend (examples follow) DO NOT use factual hard descriptors. End the paragraph with They are my Tomodachi and put a link to one of their articles on that sentence.
-Make assumptions about them, talk about your interaction or memories with them. Just create a fun little text that keeps your readers guessing who this is.Also talk about what they mean to you
-Your followers can play a game if they can recognize the Blogger you are talking about, if they make a guess correctly..they can join the tag as well if they so choose. (Thank the person whose description you guessed) -Readers are encouraged to comment their scores in the comments

Tomodachi #1

I credit/blame this blogger with being my gateway drug to the WordPress anime community, as he lured me from simply reading and commenting into actually writing about anime and posting it on my WordPress blog. Although I haven’t seen him around lately, his Twitter feed is active so he’s around here somewhere. Since he’s back in college these days, I’m sure he is just super busy writing essays and studying for tests. Doing it all online these days would be just fine with him as, like many of us, he has his health issues. No doubt he is still watching lots of all genres of anime and probably has a brain full of great blog posts just waiting to come out and bless us all with his insights just in time for Winter Solstice. I, for one, am looking forward to hearing what he thinks of 2020, anime and otherwise.

If only he were here, I’m sure we would be sitting up all night watching Chiharafuyu Season 3, eating Chex mix (he likes the rye chips best so I always leave them for him), and discussing/ranting about current events and anime in equal parts. Someday when I get my own Ninetendo Switch, we’ll play Animal Crossing together for the rest of our lives, or until something more interesting comes along. Meanwhile, I suspect I’m like his Internet stalker. He has no clue I care about him, but I read all his blog posts and most of his Tweets. He’s a prime example of one of those other life truisms I’ve learned – you just don’t never know when some little thing you have done actually touches and changes someones life (hopefully, for the better). Thanks, man. Blessedbe.

They are my Tomodachi.

Tomodachi #2

If Tomodachi #1 was my gateway drug, Tomodachi #2 is my heroin. Maybe that should be heroine. We bonded over the love of Natsume, but over time my addiction has only deepened due to the fact that our anime tastes are so similar. And here I thought I was completely weird and singular. We could totally have sleep overs where no one sleeps, but we watch anime and color each other’s hair and discuss cosplay and colors and the prettiest art and eyes in anime. She’s always so charged and full of energy and inspiration that she makes me feel that way, too. I could just sit and listen to her ramble for hours. She thinks she’s rattling on about trivial things, and I find her deep and insightful.

She’s also super organized and efficient and they love her at work. Not only because she is a great coworker at doing her job, but she brightens up the day with her sparkling wit and personality. Her home is super organized, although she uses her own system. Like, all the anime DVDs are not alphabetical by title, or in order by year aired, but instead organized by favorites so she can always put her finger on the DVD for the anime she wants to blog about, or watch. She thinks she’s a total ditz, but actually she’s a genius. It’s just that, like many geniuses, her brain is organized in a slightly different way. I love her to bits and…

She is my Tomodachi

Tomodachi #3

We are both cat people for sure, but that’s only the beginning of the many reasons we are friends. They are also Japanophiles and book worms who has introduced me to the #OwnVoices books through their wonderful and in depth reviews. They have recently started college but, you know, pandemic. The inspiring courage they show at every level, from dealing with past abuse, illness, alternative sexuality, an often maligned religion, and still standing up for themselves and others who share many of their concerns gives me hope for the present and the future. They don’t back down from a challenge, even when it means they may have to go spend a few days on self care. They don’t back down from self care either (truth is, many of us do!) and are so kind and compassionate about sharing their own challenges, and their own solutions. High on that list is curling up with a good book and four warm purring kitties. A few months ago they said they were taking a break from blogging but thank goodness they were talked out of it – because I would have seriously missed their voice. Instead, they’ve expanded into blogging about the games they play, which delights me because I play many of the same genre – Hidden Object Games – and it’s unusual to find any reviews of them anywhere. I know I am not their very best friend – they’ve got a marvelous supporter – but I hope they know I am their friend, because

They are my Tomodachi

Tomadachi #4

Last, but hardly least considering I visit their blog almost every single day, my tomadachi number four is a world traveler and photographer who graciously shares her beautiful photos of places, buildings, shrines, and food. I’ve never seen her do a blog tag, so I’m not sure she will respond to this but no obligation, and I do want my followers to go look at all the pretty pictures because…well, because so many reasons. She makes Dora the Explorer look lazy and has no fear of hiking up a mountain to look at a volcano. She is always making me hungry and envious of the delicious meals she finds whether it’s from a little hidden gem of a cafe or even the handy conbini in the train station. We have gone on so many adventures together, her with her camera and me in my armchair, I feel like we are the best of buds and yet I bet she has no clue that I follow her. That makes me sound like such a stalker, but it’s not about that at all. It’s just that it makes my day to wander around Japan, or Okinawa, or wherever she happens to take me on any given day. She has such a great eye for details. Sure, everyone takes pictures of the big shrines, but who notices and gets a pic of the stripey feral cat who also came to visit? Who else shares my delight in a special Coke bottle for Okinawa? She understands that it is the journey, not the destination and

She is my Tomodachi.

So many times I have been criticised because I have never, and will never, focus on just one thing. But look at the wonderful variety of Totally Awesome Tomodachi that allows me to enjoy and share. Please, check these bloggers out if you don’t know them already. I bet you make a new friend, too!

Thanks, Pinkie for a Totally Awesome Award. And believe me, you are also

A Totally Awesome Tomodachi.

Wash Rinse Repeat

I was born in 1959.

I remember watching the TV news with my parents when I was very young. I wondered why there was always a big graphic with how many Vietnamese died that day, and how many Americans died that day. Was I supposed to cheer if more of them died than more of us? Even then, I didn’t understand how ANYONE dying was a good thing.

I watched the riots and protests in the 1960s. If I had been a little older, I’d have been out there marching. I believed then, I believed it would change the world. I believed we could end war and end prejudice.

I watched and listened to the riots in 1992 when Rodney King was killed by the police. The authorities vowed there would be changes.

And here we are, in 2020. And I am watching protests and riots because George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by the police. The news reporters report on that right after the big body count graphic, how many died of COVID-19 today. At least, the ones reported as COVID-19 and not covered up or hidden as pneumonia or other conditions.

Looking at these protestors, they are the grandchildren of my generation. The hippies who were going to change the world. And when that didn’t work, we were sure that when the generation of our own parents and grandparents – because THEY were the prejudiced ones and WE were enlightened – when those people died off, then prejudice would be gone. We would raise our children to be better. What happened?

Most of the generation that included my parents and grandparents are gone, or warehoused in senior jails, I mean living facilities, so who is perpetuating the prejudice now? I really do wonder that. I don’t understand it at all. I’m not arguing that it is there, I still see it around me every day. And if you doubt it, listen to our elected President quoting a Sheriff who said, in 1967, “When the lootin’ starts, the shootin’ starts”.

Here is what I know.

Riots and protests didn’t change anything in the 1960s.

Riots and protests didn’t change anything in 1992.

And riots and protests aren’t going to change anything in 2020.

Perhaps what we need to do is simply accept that the United States of America is the biggest raft of hypocrisy ever to exist. It is a bad place to be brown. It’s a bad place to be poor. And it is never going to change.

Here in the USA we discredit, ignore, and warehouse older people. We shove everyone over 60 aside and say the youth know better. We don’t believe in wisdom gained with age. We won’t listen to someone who has been here and watched this society for 60 years do the same thing over, and over, and over, and over…

I don’t have the answer. You kids are so smart, you come up with one. But riots and protests are not it. Raising your kids to be better, apparently is not it either. I plan to live to be 100. I’m watching. Show me that you are better than my generation was. Show me that you can solve this.

Blessedbe

 

 

Thanks

I just got a notice from Word press a couple days ago. I registered with them…NINE YEARS ago. Egad.

Apparently, I also made my 100th post a couple days ago, too! I never would have thought I had actually used this blog that much. In the beginning I just wanted to see the service. Check it out. I liked the blogs I had hosted on my website better and stuck with them until my webhost made server changes that broke them irretrievably.

During 2016 when hubby was so terribly ill and so terribly abused by the medical profession and hospitals (It reached a point where we believed they were actively TRYING to KILL him) I blogged a great deal about what was going on on my Blogger blog. After all that, after we moved here, I wanted a fresh start away from all that.

Meanwhile, I had started watching more and more anime, and reading about it as well. I started to follow and comment on several blogs here on WordPress. So when I began my cautious reapproachment to blogging, it was only natural to finally really start using this blog for the first time. To write on, that is.

And here we are.

Most of all, I just want to say that I have found a little community here where I am comfortable. Which, given my general issues with the human race, let alone friendship and emotional attachments, is a rare and special thing. Internet communities have not always turned out to be a good thing for me. For the first time in a very long time I am writing things to share, and sharing them in a place where I feel reasonably safe.

Thank you guys.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Seven Things to love about Horse Haven

I’ve been a Horse Haven player since the old days when it was only on Facebook. Since then there has been so many great improvements!  Today I’d like to highlight seven of my favorite improvements to Horse Haven in the last few months, and especially with the current Carnival.

#7 – I’ve rated this lowest because it is sort of an anti-compliment, but I do want to include it and give the devs a big thank you for it. In the past when Horse Haven had an update, I admit to groaning and rolling my eyes. An “update” generally meant the game would be broken to the point of being unplayable for up to a week or more. That said, the last few updates have gone really smoothly. Of course there are small glitches, but nothing like “the old days” and most of them are quickly corrected over the next couple of days. Much better. Kudos. Thank you.

#6 – The new polished horses are by and large gorgeous! I especially appreciate the little nuances, such as the slight glow the fantasy horses have, and especially the sort of iridescent light effects where the sunbeams hit the horses coats while in the stable. Wonderful little touches of finesse. I am impressed. (By the way, I play both on Nox as you see in these screenshots, and on my phone)

2020-05-28 (4)

#5 – The expansion of the ability to watch a commercial in order to earn diamonds, or to skip a feeding, or skip the wait time for various things. Love it!

#4 – The new switchy button. I’m not sure how else to put it, but if you’ll look in the lower right hand corner of this screen shot, you’ll see that we can now easily bounce from the grand stable interior to the switch screen where you can switch horses from the grand stable to the outer stables and visa versa. It’s a little tweak – but I really like it. Thanks!

2020-05-28 (2)

#3 – Opportunity to earn Constellation II and Specials in the Carnival event. In fact, I’ve always really loved this one thing about Horse Haven. If you missed purchasing a special horse, sooner or later (and I have been playing a very long time) you get another opportunity to earn it through special events. Thank you!

2020-05-28 (3)

#2 -Speeding up the game. Crops grow faster. Feeds manufacture faster. And I especially love that the horses grow up faster. I dearly love being able to raise a foal to adult in (I timed it today) LESS THAN five minutes. Love it! Thank you!

#1 – Small packages!

AT LAST!!!!  For years all of the things you purchase with money at Horse Haven, have for the most part cost at least $15 and usually more. My gaming budget is small, and my discretionary income is really small, and often quite gone long before the end of the month. So especially if  something is only available for a few days in the middle or end of the month and costs $20, there is just no way I can buy it.

Once upon a time I played some other games that constantly sprinkled little specials throughout the month that cost $1 or $2. I would hate to tell you how much I spent over several years in $1 and $2 purchases! How I longed for Horse Haven to do the same.

And now, at last, they have!  $1 for a few diamonds, and a 50% increase in Carnival points for a day? I can do that! Wait – $5 for a few more diamonds and a 50% increase in Carnival points for the rest of the event? I’m in! I’ve bought several of the $1 packages just to encourage the devs to do it again! Do it forever!

2020-05-28

Thank you, Horse Haven devs for all these great new improvements to the game!

 

 

Saturday Morning Cartoons Reinvented

Pinkie over at Pinkie’s Paradise started an intriguing reinvention of the Saturday morning cartoons some weeks ago. From the inception of the series, I really liked the idea and very quickly got to work on setting that time slot aside in my own life, for the same use.

I had a crappy childhood. Saturday morning cartoons were iffy at best, and didn’t include anime to speak of because I’m that damn old. So I’m taking this opportunity to overwrite those years with some much better memories. So there, hah.

The dedicated time slot is from whenever I got up to noon. The most important aspect of the cartoons or anime chosen is they must either make me laugh or keep me glued to the screen as much as the one or two series I remember and enjoyed. And by and large, they need to appeal to a younger audience. I am trying to locate and stream some of my old favorites where I can, too.

I am also including some sort of decadent, unhealthy and fattening breakfast treat because I don’t often do breakfast at all, and I am very careful about treats due to my tendency to gain weight just looking at food. Because normally everyone was gone at work when I woke up, I actually regularly breakfasted on cookies as a child. Finding food in my house was a bit iffy, too. We were more likely to have cookies than breakfast food and almost never cereal and milk. However, these days I’m a bit gluten intolerant and I’ve always been lactose intolerant, so cereal and milk aren’t as big a treat as you’d think.

I’m three weeks in at this point, and because I’m a bit lazy about blogging I am not even going to try to blog every Saturday. Instead I’ll do a little roundup every three weeks or so. Give or take. However, I am keeping a running entry on my Penzu journal updated every Saturday so I will have that for reference.

Saturday, May 10th was the first official Saturday morning cartoon day. As it happened the hubby had some Honey Nut Cheerios for a snack, so I snatched a bowlful of those. No milk. My wonderful hubby (he cooks) also brought to me warm, freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies later in the morning. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmm

Previously I had done a bit of surfing around looking for cartoons/anime that might suit my parameters of funny, missed, fascinating, nostaligia. Under the Pink influence I searched for a Pokemon series, and found Pokemon Sun and Moon on Netflix. I was looking for Yu-Gi-Oh but instead got sidetracked to Yokai Watch. I am really into yokai, so I had to chose this one. It is also on Netflix. Somewhere down the line I ran onto Wander Over Yonder and did a little research on it. I found it on YouTube and watched like ten seconds and could not stop laughing – so even though I have to search and scrounge for each ten minute or so episode – it’s on the list. Last, but hardly least was Gargoyles from Disney Plus – something I ran onto looking for something else. Overall most of these are shows either anime (which I got none of ), or that remind me of shows I actually did get to watch. More on that later.

Yokai Watch – My favorite episode so far is #4 with Hungrigramps. He makes conbini store food look good! I am getting a big chuckle out of all the ills of life being caused by yokai, and each of them when summoned has a ridiculous intro-summoning sequence that makes me laugh and at least consider hopping up and trying to learn their dance moves. But my true love, as you may have guessed is Jibanyan.

I’ve already found a plushie I MUST HAVE and of course, I want the games if I can find any that will work on any device I own.

Speaking of devices, in case you are wondering, these series also have to be on something my main laptop computer can deal with. Said computer is ten years old and has a heart attack if it sees VRV.CO in a URL, so we are restricted to Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and such. It’s good for me to watch anime away from VRV now and then. The reason is that this whiney old computer hooks up to the whiney old big screen TV so I can watch my Saturday morning cartoons on the TV. Much as all has changed and advanced, this is somehow a thing for me and it’s my Saturday morning so that’s just how it is. 😛

Wander Over Yonder is my next cartoon, and because I watch 2 to 3 episodes, I’m now up to Season 1 Episode 9 and 10 which are so far my total favorites. I dearly loved the goats and all the silly wordplay in 9, and the Lords of Enlightment episode 10 had me rolling on the floor. I am metaphysical as heck, but I do take some of the woo-woo with a truckload of salt and this episode really poked the sacred bears, so to speak. I can’t figure out why Disney ever took this off their channel, and even more so can’t imagine why they don’t have it on the streaming website. Just saying, I would absolutely buy this if the series were on DVD or something somewhere. Even though there isn’t a thing in the house that plays DVDs anymore.

Pokemon Sun and Moon I have to honestly say isn’t my favorite. It has it’s moments. I kind of have an issue with Ash being so immediately blessed by the island guardian with all the goodies. But hey, of course he is. And Pikachu is cute. I get it now. The cute little voice melts me every time. Awwwwwwwwww… I know there is better Pokemon out there, that I really think I’ll like better, but I have yet to find them on a streaming service I use.

Gargoyles on Disney. This series appealed to me on several levels. The mix of myth and scifi. And the artwork to me is reminiscent of some of my most favorite childhood cartoons. It’s cartoony but realistic. If that makes any sense. So far I’m intrigued. I have a few story issues where things aren’t realistic, but then, it’s a cartoon, relax Summer. I’m up to Episode 4 and I can’t say I have a favorite yet. I don’t hate it or anything, just haven’t fallen in love yet either.

The last couple of Saturdays I’ve had an old favorite snack – graham crackers dipped in milk. Absolutely loved it. But the milk went sour this week. Neither of us actually like milk. So yeah, this will really be only an occasional treat for Saturdays. This Saturday I was also treated to a biscuit with butter and honey from one friend (who wanted biscuits, can’t cook them in her trailer so we cooked them for her and we all shared) and a raisin bagel with cream cheese from hubby. Yes, I had a stomach ache. I think this coming Saturday I’m going to get myself a bag of those white powdered sugar donuts. I love those things. They’re awful for me.

But the biggest thrill EVAH came Saturday May 23 because one of my all time most favorite ever childhood cartoons suddenly showed up on VRV. Wait. VRV? Yes. I crossed my fingers and took grumpy old Mingo (what, you don’t name your devices) up to VRV and wonder of wonders he conceded to actually play…

Jonny Quest!!!!!!!!!!! I loved this cartoon with all my heart. I wanted to be Jonny. Or Hadji. Or Race Bannon. Or have a grown up like Race Bannon or Professor Quest in my life. Who liked me. But I faced it now with some adult trepidation. I have a sneaking suspicion I am not going to appreciate how Hadji is treated. (In fact, I have some lurking memories of thinking I didn’t always like how Hadji was treated when I was a child. After all, he has a similar complexion to my mother and I AM a child of the 60s and we were NOT unaware of the difference in treatment based on difference in skin color…)

So this Saturday I dived into Episode 1 and 2 and… I wonder where Hadji was in Ep 1? Oh well. And just who, exactly, does Race Bannon work for? And seriously, he’s a pretty crappy body guard since Jonny saves him as much as he saves Jonny. But that’s okay because I had a BLAST. Sure, I can pick apart the facts like crazy but it’s still a fun and oh yes, so boy, romp. Okay, so I was a little boy and I still am, really. Yeah, turn me loose with a snowmobile that goes 100 mph, great idea. I remember the snow cat and snow mobile and water ski better than I do the story. Huh? Story? And I kind of think Hadji is smarter than Jonny. So there’s that. And that jet in the intro – is that an A-12? Because it kind of looks like one. In case you aren’t a super fast silent spy jet fan – the A-12 was the SR 71 Blackbird before it was the Blackbird. Which sort of fits since Race Bannon actually works for Intelligence One – which agency sounds suspiciously like the CIA. Sort of. Okay, let’s not get hung up on facts. Cool snow skimmer!

Looks like VRV won’t let me grab a screen cap. 😦

In conclusion, I am really having a lot of fun with my own version of Saturday morning cartoons. Thanks Pinkie!

And starting this week, I’m also relaxing on Sunday with my own favorite Sunday show – nature documentaries. Yep, just call me Marlon Perkins. Holy crap, I just discovered that Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom has a dedicated YouTube site with new shows… Anyway, there is no shortage of nature documentaries between Hulu, Netflix, Curiosity Stream, and Disney Plus and because I’m a horse person, I also sprang for the Equus channel on Film Festival Flix. Anyone want to ride along?

 

“A Little Shy”, They Said

I mentioned on this blog a few days ago that we had added a family member – we adopted a cat. Several folks have asked about her, and I’ve been pretty closed mouthed after the initial joy. This is why.

A local shelter announced through the news that they would be having “free” or rather “sponsored” adoptions for cats over 6 months old. A particular car dealership was actually paying the adoption fees – which are very high in this big city. I mean, REALLY high. You could buy a nicely pedigreed show quality purebred for what they charge for adoptions here.

Now from experience I can tell you I’ve NEVER had a free pet in my life. Oh, I’ve certainly adopted and rescued literally hundreds of animals in my life – but any time I’ve taken an animal that was “free” they ended up costing me a small fortune one way or another.

Hubby and I have been discussing and wanting another pet for about three years. Our beloved cat, Pearl, died while the hubby was on peritoneal dialysis. Since peritoneal dialysis, done at home, is not pet friendly, we chose to not immediately get another pet. A good decision, as it turned out. The next few years we were not in a stable position between his health changes and moving to Nevada, to take on an additional responsibility. But for about the last year we have been wanting a cat, and we feel like we are finally in a good stable position to offer a good home to a pet. So when these “free” adoptions became available, we applied and were quickly accepted.

My first surprise, in fact, is that we were accepted on the same day that we applied. No references were asked for or contacted, and apparently no check of any kind was done on the information I provided the shelter. This should have been my first clue. 

Second clue – This was a “no contact” adoption. This sounded reasonable, since we are still in Phase One of coming out of lockdown here. Also, the pandemic has really devastated animal rescue organizations, with loss of donations, and volunteer shortages, as well as being closed and having no way to do adoptions in person. But it does mean that we never met our cat until she was actually here in the house.

I provided a great deal of information to the shelter about our home and a list of several of the cats from the website we were interested in. I was told only one of our choices was still available, but she would be a wonderful match for us as she is shy (but really sweet – yeah, right) and doesn’t like other cats or dogs, so she would be happiest in a very quiet, all adult, no other pets home such as we have to offer. I took the “adoption counselor” at her word and we got really happy and excited about our new friend to be.

The next day I was told I would have to get to the shelter by 3 pm or I would lose this cat and have to start over. There was some rushing around as I found a ride other than the ride I first thought could get us there, blah blah blah, but kitty and I finally got home.

This was the third clue – almost inevitably when you are given a time limit and often a veiled threat (“if you don’t come get them RIGHT NOW I’ll have to put them to sleep” or even “I’ll take it out back and shoot it”) – you are about to get saddled with an animal no one wants. You’re being rushed so you don’t have time to make a thorough decision. This is true, by the way, on almost any acquisition – any time you get a high pressure sales pitch, stop, back up, and give the situation a very thorough going over. If the other side freaks out and increases the pressure, back out – you’re probably doing yourself a favor.

I will call this the fourth clue – I noticed it earlier and it did make me think – but I chose to go forward anyway. So this is on no one but me. But. Looking at the one and only rather poor photo of this cat on their website, I noticed that she (like several others) was eartipped. That is, one of her ears was partially cut off. This is frequently done in TNR situations.

For those who do not know, a brief explanation. Trap-Neuter-Release is a way to care for communities of feral cats. We all know someone who feeds all the strays in the neighborhood. A responsible stray cat feeder practices TNR either on their own dime or in cooperation with a rescue group. The cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, usually vaccinated, evaluated for adoptability, and if they are quite wild – released back into their community. Cats that have been “processed” are also “ear tipped” – a bit of one ear is cut off. This is so they can be identified quickly as a cat that has been vaccinated and neutered, in case they are trapped again. They can be re-released without the expense of an exam.

So when I saw that tipped ear I wondered if this cat was from a feral colony. And if so, and if she was judged adoptable and brought into the shelter – then why did they tip her ear? Normally, you would only do that with a cat you were going to re-release. It made me a little suspicious, but after all some feral cats are simply lost or abandoned and they ARE socialized and adoptable.

In the cats description on the website, and in email with the adoption counselor, the cat was described as “a little shy”. Repeatedly. But “she will be a great match for you, and I’m sure she’ll settle down quickly once she is in your home.” I can’t even call this a clue. Most cats are freaked out in a shelter situation, and especially a cat that is of a submissive, introverted type of personality. We do have a very quiet home, with lots of human contact and reassurance and lots of cat experience and a shy cat doesn’t necessarily turn me off at all.

So I arrive to pick the cat up and end up waiting outside for a good bit of time. Meanwhile, other people were in fact going in and out of the building – which also houses a vet – so okay, maybe they were going to the vet. When the cat is brought to me, the lady (who was not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing BTW – some contactless adoption – not. Maybe that should have been a clue, too) tells me that the cat didn’t want to go and was hard to get into the box. I find out later that the cats in this shelter all co-hab in one big room.

Now, I realize that to most people this sounds more humane than little cages. But it isn’t. Not with cats that are frightened, poorly socialized, that don’t like or get along with other cats. There are also other problems inherent in this. For instance, the new cat did not eat for a couple of days. When I asked the shelter if she was a picky eater (and what food they feed) I was told “I don’t know. We just free feed all of the cats and sometimes they get some wet”. One of the very first signs of illness in a cat is refusing to eat. When I had a large number of cats, I did “breakfast”. Once a day I put out one dish for each cat with a dab of wet food. Almost no cats will refuse wet food. I then literally stood there and watched the cats eat. If any of my cats refused to eat at breakfast, I would note that and keep an eye on them. Certain cats who were real hogs would get an immediate vet trip if they didn’t eat. So this free food with no monitoring situation is not good. I’m going to also guess they are mostly volunteer staff with one or two overworked paid staff, so there’s no consistency of care. A shy cat, such as our new cat, could hide (as she does) for days at a time and no one would even realize she was missing, sick, not eating, etc. The same issues apply to the other end of the plumbing – with multiple cats in a room sharing litter boxes, you can’t tell which one of them is passing those worms in their stool, or having diarrhea. So although many cats together in one room looks more cozy and homelike to potential adopters, to an experienced animal care person it looks like, well, chaos and possible cat hell for a cat who is shy, bullied, introverted, sick, frightened, or not socialized. 

There is a reasonable alternative, which is individual cages for each cat and a period “out to play” in a large room with other cats during designated hours each day. I volunteered at a shelter that practiced this and it was ideal. There was no fighting over food, and each cats intake of food, and output of urine and feces was easily monitored. As another benefit, even if one cat became ill, it did not usually infect the whole population as it could be quickly noticed, and quickly isolated. 

At this point in time I suspect what she was telling me was it took four people chasing the cat around a room full of cats for thirty minutes before they finally cornered her and grabbed her.  I won’t count this as a clue, as many cats are frightened and suspicious when you start trying to grab them and put them in a box. It’s pretty reasonable if you figure most of the time when we’re catching them and putting them in a box they’re going to the vet! But this fairly chaotic and hysterical situation can also be avoided with individual cages. As simply as, “someone is coming for this cat today, so don’t put her out with the others”. No fuss, no muss, no panic for anyone or cats.

I get the kitty home. She is introduced to her food and water bowl and litter box. She sits in my lap for a few hours being petted, and in hubby’s lap being petted. But she doesn’t purr and she’s almost motionless. She isn’t comfortable and happy, but frozen solid with fear, although she does give a few head butts and chin wipes. When she finally goes exploring she finds the closest hiding place and disappears. That spot was not someplace she ought to be, so we pulled her out and closed it off (boy did she sulk). She glares at us for a while, then goes and finds another hidey hole. And that’s it. She spends about 24/7  in that hidey hole, unless we literally drag her out for a repeat of the frozen cuddle for a little while, then back to the hidey hole. She did not eat or drink or use the litter box for two days. Well, that’s not all that weird for a new cat in a new place. It’s a bit extreme, maybe.

It’s been nearly a week now, and now I am quite sure based on my experience with many, many cats from every situation from dearly loved to born and survived wild to adulthood that this is a formerly feral cat. An adult feral cat who has no socialization. Her only experience of humans is being trapped, vaccinated, spayed, and thrown in a room with a large number of strange cats, with different, strange humans going in and out probably several times a day. That is, she has gone from being feral to being traumatized.

At best, many adult ferals never become socialized to humans. She is beyond feral at this point. The best I can say is if you reach into her hidey hole and drag her out, she freezes with fear instead of attacking. I think this is due more to her shy, basically gentle personality rather than any socialization.

They sent us this cat, knowing that my husband is disabled and has health issues. To tell you the truth, I am pretty pissed off. Not to jerk your heart strings- but my husband was not supposed to live past his 20s, he is now 54. We wanted a sweet, lovable cat to join our family for love, cuddles, playing, and companionship. We got – a wild animal who barely accepts our presence. My husband may or may not have years for her to maybe accept us. We are sharing a 26 foot RV with her. Right now the cab is set up as her private apartment and luckily that is fairly convenient for us all.  But what if hubby is hospitalized and I have to ask someone else to care for this wild animal? And not to be really mean, but she costs as much to keep as a friendly kitty would. We are not rich.

Thinking strictly of ourselves – this is not a cat that we want to have right now. And it is in the contract that we can return her within 30 days for any reason. It is tempting.

But.

Again, from my experience. She’s going right back into her own little version of hell. Big room. Lots of cats. Lots of strange people in and out. Constant chaos. Depending on this particular shelter’s policies, once she is returned she may be automatically killed as “unadoptable”. This is not to my knowledge a no-kill shelter. Or she may go through several homes, each told she is “a little shy” and because she freezes rather than fights, less experienced cat people may believe that. So can I bring myself to send her back to that?

Not really.

We’ve had a long discussion. Several, in fact. We have a couple of alternative solutions that don’t involve her going back to hell. Since she is not aggressive or destructive (so far), she can go on as she is. Naturally, we will do our best to encourage her to accept us. This hardly makes us feel like we have the pet we desire, however. So we plan to be patient, but also to have an eye out for a nice kitten. I didn’t really want to raise a kitten, but here’s my point on that. I think as a mature female feral, this cat has no doubt raised one or two litters of kittens per year of her six years of life. I think she may accept a young kitten as non-threatening and even adopt the kitten as her own, making s/he a good companion for her. This means that Misty (our new name for our new cat) will have a feline companion she does accept, even if she never accepts us, and we will have a feline companion that accepts us, even if Misty never does. Misty may also be influenced to accept us since the kitten does.

But I am still pissed. We did not want to raise a baby kitten – although Misty will help by providing companionship, and influence in using the litter box properly. We will have extra expense, not just for two cats instead of one, but since the other will be a kitten we will need the full series of shots, licensing, and spay/neuter when the time comes. All of which is, you guessed it, very expensive here. One of the reasons it took us so long to decide we were ready for a new pet was that we don’t have a whole lot of money above and beyond day to day living expenses. I had planned on a single (large) adoption fee covering all the vet and licensing expenses for at least the first year, including the monster fee for spay/neuter. Basically, now all these expenses will be doubled, and I was cautiously hopeful of being able to afford it once.

And if you are wondering, um, no, I won’t be going to any other rescue operation here. One more section of society in the U.S. where I see lying has become the default rather than the exception. I’ll be watching out for a (Goddess help me) “free” kitten. Actually, the Goddess has dropped many kittens on my porch steps (or under them) in my life, so that could happen.

Bottom line; an animal shelter took advantage of the pandemic to offload at least one, and probably several (because she isn’t the only one on the website described as “a little shy”) purely wild, feral, unsocialized cats on an unsuspecting public who were kind enough to open their home during this situation. They’re taking advantage of the sponsor as well. And I am almost positive that if I contacted them again with my issues, I would be guilt tripped into feeling it is our fault somehow that we are mean and can’t be bothered to keep this poor cat and deal with her issues (on top of our own, may I add) although I have to admit, that is just my suspicion. I can’t bring myself to send her back to what I suspect is a hell situation for her. (Instead I let her create a less than perfect situation for us – but maybe it will improve) I also have a sneaking suspicion that they saw we do have experience with many difficult cats, and expected us to have this dilemma when we figured out she was feral. Because surely they didn’t think we would be fooled beyond the first day or two.

At least she is with people who have dealt with ferals before, and many cats with many different personalities and difficult pasts. Mind you, dealing with rescues and ferals when you’re in your twenties, and both working with good incomes is a very different situation than dealing with it as seniors with a considerably smaller fixed income and health issues. Yes, we can deal with her and offer the best possible solution FOR HER at this time. Truly, the best situation for a feral cat is to leave it where it is – in a cat community they are comfortable in, a place they have chosen and are comfortable in and especially if it is a TNR community being responsibly cared for. It isn’t ideal, but neither is this. Perhaps they had to capture and remove the feral cat community for some good reason, or perhaps someone misconstrued her frozen in fear reaction for gentleness or some socialization. I’d like to think we were all really doing our best in any given situation. Really, I would.

So. Here we are. We have a cat. But really, we don’t. We are harboring a wild animal that may possibly someday accept us. We’d still like to have a PET. Sigh.

I’m blocking comments for this post. Our decisions are based on our situation, and our experiences and are not open to discussion or anyone else’s criticism. I’m not going to argue about this. I’m already pissed. I just wanted to get this off my chest. Maybe something here will contain a nugget of wisdom that will help somebody else, or at least warn them, or make them think. I’m not naming the shelter because I don’t need a lawsuit and really, it isn’t that important at this point.

 

Update: I started out to check if the shelter involved was a no-kill, in case we decide in the next 30 days that we cannot deal with her and send her back. What I discovered is that this shelter has a lengthy record of news stories, problems with fraud, money, and multiple allegations by volunteers of terrible conditions for animals and people – including a couple of severe maulings by “socialized” dogs on volunteers. Clearly, there is no way I’m sending Misty back. And, as i suspected, there are also reviews where the return of an animal is met with quite a nasty reaction and guilt tripping, as well as black listing of the adopter.

Here is my takeaway on that. Don’t make the assumption that an animal shelter, even one associated with a well respected national association, is truly a good and trustworthy organization. Like any acquisition, an animal adoption needs to start with thorough research on any organization you may choose to be involved with. Not just their puff website, but an open search on their name for any reviews, news stories, petitions for change or investigations by the District Attorney (!), and so forth. If I had seen these articles first… well, I might have adopted just to SAVE an animal from what amounts to a horrific hoarding situation. So, we do have that to hang on to. We have saved Misty from a miserable life of fear and neglect. (Never mind that it would have been going on in a “shelter”)

 

 

Breaking the Tyranny of the Streak

Or…there’s streaks, and there’s streaks.

 

Harvard Streaker Glitch
not that kind of streak

Recently I’ve been a bit frustrated by my inability to continue streaks on certain software that I enjoy. After some thought I decided to ignore all their exhortations, encouragement, and pokes and prods and release myself from the tyranny of maintaining a streak on a number of things.

At first, I felt like I was a bit… not worthy. Less than. Online you see so many people who have blogged every single day for years – writing great articles every single day. Or who sketch every single day, or take photographs every single day. For some of these things it seems like it’s really not a big deal to remember to spend maybe five minutes on a quickie – although of course, more time is better for some things. So why can’t I manage to journal in my private Penzu journal every day, and make even a quick sketch a day – even after I put sketching apps on the phone so I sketch even on days when we aren’t home very much. Not finding time for a few minutes of Japanese study – even though that app barely nags (or rewards) is a particular frustration for me. I mean, I really DO enjoy and want to learn Japanese.

But here is my biggest stumbling block. I have actual responsibilities. Three days a week my hubby has a 3 1/2 hour dialysis treatment. When we ride the Transit bus they pick us up about two and a half hours early, and can drop us off as much as three hours afterwards. Which is one of two reasons we no longer ride the Transit bus. (The second is that they are not enforcing masks, and are actively making it impossible to social distance – so we get to pick someone up at the hospital, then sit less than 2 feet away while he hacks and coughs and sneezes for two hours. Complaints are answered with “you should be grateful for this service”). Now that we are back to riding the public bus, the transportation time is a little more reasonable so at least we are not gone from the house for up to 10 hours for a 3 1/2 hour treatment. Still, we often arrive home sick, tired, and very out of sorts. Both of us – even though only he had to undergo the treatment. At any rate, 3 days a week are quite focused on one thing.

The other four are the only time I have to go grocery shopping, walk down to the machine (about 1 mile) to refill water bottles, pick up prescriptions, go to the bank, do laundry, cleaning house, or any of a dozen or so other responsibilities I simply have to do. The fact that we no longer have a vehicle means that everything entails an hour or two or more of walking or riding the bus on top the of actual errand time.

Hey, I’m not complaining. I do have a 180 day streak going on the pedometer app! We walk a lot. It’s very healthy for us. This is a good thing. So I’m about half on half on – those are excuses, and nope, that’s just life.

After some more thought, I realize I have to give myself credit for those things that there is no app for that I do have a “streak” on.

I wash the dishes by hand. Every single day. Some days, twice. Admittedly, I often skip that duty on dialysis days because it’s too late and/or I’m too tired when we get home. We also tend not to make as many dirty dishes those days so I figure that’s okay.

I manage to take vitamins every single day. Yeah, I’m kind of a health and wellness freak. I’d rather take vitamins every day than a bunch of prescriptions drugs, and then drugs for the side effects of the drugs, and so on.  I also nag the husband to take his, poor guy. Then again, he is in remarkable health for someone who has been on dialysis for ten years. That’s not me bragging, that’s what his dialysis nurse and his nephrologist say. I’d guess our streak on this one is literally years without a break.

Every single day I pray, meditate, and make offerings to the gods and goddesses. Every single day I spend a few minutes to connect and send reiki healing to any of my friends who may need it. Every day I do some little accupressure treatments on the hubby that help with various little things like blood pressure or anemia or pain. Again, streaks that are years long.

A few days ago I added to my daily chores; feeding, watering, and cleaning a litter box for the new family member. She pays in purrs. It’s a more than fair deal!

So you know what, I’m tossing out all the frustration and the guilt for the streaks I can’t seem to keep up. And giving myself a little credit for those I do.

I hope by sharing this that maybe if you are feeling a bit of guilt, or like you are not as good as someone else because you just can’t keep a streak of daily whatever going that you will take a second look at your life and realize that we are all doing the best we can do with what we have and where we are at in our lives right now. We have to set our own priorities over those things we need to accomplish, and however “good” it might be to journal or sketch or practice our second language every day, there are things that can simply be set aside for things that simply must be done. There is no shame or guilt in that. In fact, you probably deserve some kudos for taking care of business. (That often is a lot less fun than journaling, sketching, etc.)

So there, hah.

Blessedbe.