Tag Archives: pets

The Cat Whisperer

ORIGINALLY POSTED MAY 29TH, 2002

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last night while i was playing with the kittens, my grandma asked me a question that really made me stop and think:

what happened to the little girl who tamed kittens?

it was just a silly question, looking back on how i used to be obsessed with taming kittens and spent endless summer hours concocting new ways to tame kittens, but it made me realize something about myself.

during my childhood, all I cared about doing was finding “wild” stray cats and turning them into domestic, purring, furballs. and i had one helluva success rate.

i would spend days on end in my backyard at the heap of rubble from where our barn burnt down. that was where the stray cat had had her kittens. they were the cutest little litter…but they had never seen humans and their mother had a wild streak to her. Shortly before they were of weaning age, their mother got hit by a car, leaving the litter of four all alone. i took them in, although they refused to let me near them or touch them. days and days would go by where i would just sit out there with a saucer of milk; reaching my hands out towards them and trying to imitate their mother’s mews. that summer i had more scratches than anyone i knew…but i still went on…

to make the story short, by the end of the summer they were eating out of my hands. they would run to me whenever i came near and jump all over me. one was living in my house.

throughout my childhood, i tamed several cats. i became known as the girl with the gift for taming even the wildest kitten My parents’ friends would even pay me for my services…

the point of all this?

well, i don’t tame kittens anymore, but i am still that same girl.

i have just moved from kittens to people.

i try so hard to have same effect on people that i once had on kittens, to be able to tame them, to get them to open up to me and to have some sort of reliance on me.

maybe i should just go back to taming kittens…

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Turtles and Responsibility

This Christmas, I was sitting with my Mom in the basement watching some TV and enjoying some quality family bonding time.

As my Mom gets up to head upstairs for something, she looks at me and asks:turtle2

“Do you want a turtle?”

I look right at her and answer, very matter-of-fact:

“No thanks, I don’t want the added responsibility.”

Ends up it wasn’t a living, breathing turtle she was talking about but a turtle–the caramel/pecan/chocolate-y treat that I should have known she was referring to.

How sad is it my gut reaction to being offered a turtle is it would be too much responsibility?  It’s a turtle for God’s sake!  Not a puppy, not a cat, not even a hamster.  It has a hard shell if I were to drop it, it doesn’t move too fast in case it gets loose . . . but somehow that is too much for me?  Ridiculous.

Then there is the other side of my relationship with responsibility, also illustrated by a . . . turtle story.

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This summer, I was driving home from work when I saw a turtle in the middle of the exit ramp off the highway.  No one was behind me, so I came to a complete stop to avoid hitting it.  When I stopped, I noticed it was a snapping turtle.  At this point, I was conflicted:  do I leave it there, or do I risk injury to “turtle shuffle” it?

I tried to call my grandma to see what the protocol was for moving a ferocious snapping turtle across the road.  No answer.  I looked behind me and saw a car coming.  It was now or never.  What did I do?  I snapped a quick picture and sped on my way, leaving the helpless turtle in the middle of the road.

All night long, my thoughts returned to the snapper–did he make it across that road?  Was he safe?  Would I have to pass by his corpse the next day?

I never saw that turtle again, but it continued to haunt me.

The next week, I went with my family down to southern Indiana, a place where there are hundreds of turtles.  As we are driving the windy, back country roads I told my Dad he had to stop if we saw a turtle so I could save it.  I felt the weight of the world upon me, telling me it was now my duty to save a turtle to make up for the one I didn’t help.

I didn’t get my chance.  We passed one, and my Dad didn’t stop.  We found one on a walk, but it was dead.  Then it flooded and the turtles were having an easier time crossing the road than us humans were.  Karma?  I think so.

Basically, when it comes to responsibility, I can’t win.  I either seek to avoid it if at all possible, or I go overboard and feel it is my duty to do everything/save everything.  I can’t win.

I guess the best solution is to continue as is:  keep paying my bills, keep up my personal hygeine, and don’t get a turtle.

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Flashback Friday

Featured in this week’s edition:  NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE! Reflections on why I drink! Loss of a beloved family pet. Lame ass emo shit! SPRING BREAK!

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Flashback Friday

Featured in this week’s Flashback Friday: SPRING BREAK! SPRING BREAK! SPRING BREAK! Plus, Supreme Court Day and health issues.  Not to mention–an Osama Bin Laden siting in Madrid, Spain, and my first ever trip to a strip club, accompanied by an ex-boyfriend and drunken college friends who had my back.  Very exciting stuff, people!

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