cats on valium

Have you ever had one of those days where you know, by all rights, you should have lost your mind and yet somehow – you are doing just fine? I have found that most of my days that turn out like this have their root beginning in the Mad Kitten insisting on getting up at 2am. She is being difficult about letting me clip her nails this week so she has a needle fine hook that she can use in my septum to make sure I am bright eyed and bushy tailed right along side her.

I will never understand her logic. Some days she sleeps curled under my arms. Some days it is in the crook of my leg. Sometimes she stuffs herself in my panniers and on still others, she stays in the room next door.

Every so often I look at her and remember that old adage about people resembling their pets and I worry about my life.

Her latest thing is something I call the “arm trap.” She has this unique skillset in which she can take a flying leap at me when I am sitting down and land in my lap, already curled up as if sleeping. When she arm traps it means that the front of her body is completely on and wrapped around one of my arms. If I am lucky it is my left arm (because I am right handed) and I can still hunt and peck at the computer. If I am not lucky it only takes a few moments for her to become annoyed and start biting and kicking my hand. Right now it looks like my hand has been sewn onto my arm because I have a perfect deep scratch running across the wrist.

But I don’t know what I would do without her. I spend some awfully long and lonely days in the cave and she at least is always there – poking at me, annoying me and giving me a moment’s distraction from living in my head. I try to remind myself that I am grateful for that when she is being particularly annoying.

I can’t remember, I don’t think that I had started blogging when my dog was still alive. I think I started all this shortly after he finally passed away. I had him for a long time and he was big as a house by the time he was ready to go. Hugo. A black lab/border collie mix which meant he was this perfect balance of being really smart and really stupid but just sweet all the time.

I got him at a military animal shelter. He had been wildly abused, so much that they thought he was fixed and it wasn’t until a few months passed that his junk dropped that we realized he had been so scared he had sucked it inside himself. Our first week together we spent at a friend’s house. Hugo started doing this weird thing where he would climb on the couch, lift up the cushion, puke and then put the cushion back in place. It turned out he had Parvo. I spent the next week visiting him at the animal hospital and taking him for little walks while I held his IV bag in the air. I think I should have known from that beginning it would be a strange relationship.

Pets on the brain. All my pets have been strange. The dog was prone to fainting and would tear a slice of pizza up into dainty bite sized morsels to eat, the cats have all been bad climbers and constantly get stuck on roofs. I had a rat that loved to hang off the front of my shirt and eat my buttons. I had a bunny but he ate a piece of litmus paper and was bunny no more.

All the animals that have lived with me have been strange kinds of pacifists. The Mad Kitten has perfected catching mice without hurting them so she can have friends and often plays with squirrels. My dog used to always have strange cats walk up and rub against him. He was desperate to play with squirrels too (ahhhh another common thread) and one day he figured out it was his size that scared them away so he lay on his belly and tried to shimmy up to one. It didn’t work.

I am wildly over caffeinated and have been sitting at my computer all day slamming out articles on anything and everything in between. I feel like I can’t blink my eyes. The thing I look forward to most is in one hour I get to stand up and walk to a different city. It’s Rhode Island, we can do those kinds of things here.

c.2011 Cassandra Tribe All Rights Reserved.

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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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