Tag Archives: Cats

Kat’s Misadventures: Kitty Crisis

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I would like to start off this post with a little apology. I decided to take a week (I guess technically two weeks) off from blogging to adjust to life back at home. I thought I was going to be struggling to find a job, but I ended up finding one my first day back at home. So for the past few weeks, my life has consisted of cleaning through my stuff, working the closing shift at a restaurant/cafe, and playing video games. I also began a writing project, and I’m very proud of myself for powering through this first draft. I’m really enjoying myself.

Apologies aside, now I need to overcome my own laziness and make sure I blog at least once a week. Summer seems to kill my productivity for some reason. My next Japanese adventure is coming up soon, so I’ll be getting a ton of new material as I prepare for it. But before I get there, I wanted to write an anecdote related to how it feels to have finally graduated from undergrad.

I think the pinnacle of my “adulting career” was Thanksgiving break of my junior year. One of my professors had asked me to cat-sit for a few days while he and his wife visited children and grandchild. I thought to myself, “If I can babysit, I can cat-sit.” All I needed to do was feed the cat twice a day, let her outside to do her business, and collect the mail. My reward was a healthy stipend, full use of my professor’s beautiful kitchen, and a private place to stay and work on my homework over the break. For a college student not going home for Thanksgiving for the first time, it sounded like a great deal.

After a single night there, I had successfully kept the ancient tabby alive, cooked myself curry and rice, and watched an entire season of one of my Netflix shows. Yes, I thought. This is adult life at its finest. I’m sooo good at this. My years of babysitting experience had taught me a few important rules, the most important of which is this: Don’t watch Batman vs. Dracula by yourself. You will force yourself to believe that vampires are coming to get you.

However, despite my expertise, Fate wouldn’t allow me a few short days of peace.

I didn’t leave my comfortable guest room the afternoon of my second day of cat sitting. I began the strenuous task of mentally preparing to begin an essay about the role of bushido in samurai culture. I watched anime and occasionally thought about my essay. Around 7:00 PM, I decided I was rather hungry, so I climbed upstairs to feed the kitty as well as myself. That’s when I noticed that the door to the music room was open. Huh? I thought. Now that’s peculiar. So I went to close it, but that wasn’t the only door that was open.

The door leading to the garage was open as well. …and so was the garage.

Like any level-headed adult, I calmly proceeded to select a knife from the kitchen, grab the cat, and lock myself in the basement while sobbing like a baby. Oddly enough, I was more worried about a thief than a murderer at this point; I couldn’t afford to replace anything!! After calling every person I knew in my tiny college town, I finally sobbed my last will and testament to a friend over the phone. She convinced me to do a walk through in the house, purple knife in hand, and shut all of the doors that were open. (Why didn’t I do that in the first place?) However at this point, I noticed that several of the lights in the house were now on…and I didn’t remember turning them on…so I locked myself in the basement again and contemplated calling the police.

An hour passed. I still wasn’t dead. But I still hadn’t let the cat out for the evening. Finally, the ancient cat’s whining won me over, and I let her outside…

…for a few seconds before I started to freak out because you know as well as I know that that shadow I saw moving out of the corner of my eye was actually a serial killer rapist vampire human trafficker/catnapper. I grabbed that cat and ran to the basement yet again.

Finally, the youth director from a church I had visited a few times called me back and told me that he would send the ex-choir director of said church to come and check up on me. Fifteen minutes later, an elderly man hobbled up the front steps of the porch to see me, still sobbing but no longer holding my knife. He walked through the house, watched me let the cat outside to do her business, and gave me the pep-talk of the century. Now, I’m fairly certain that most of that pep-talk was sarcastically sympathetic.

I slept with my purple knife underneath my pillow that night and didn’t write a single word of my paper until two days before it was due.

It was at that point in my life that I decided I would never live alone. Ever. Now you’re probably thinking, “That’s a fun story, but what’s the point? How does this relate to graduating?” I’m getting there, dear reader. Hold your horses. A year and a half later, I’m still known as the girl that fabricated a ghost murderer thief. In fact, I see that ex-choir director at least once a year, and every time, he comes up, places a hand on my shoulder, and smiles at me and then he turns to the person I’m talking to and says something along the lines of, “Let me tell you what this girl did Thanksgiving weekend two years ago…”

But looking back, that year I had overcome a lot. I was working close to 20 or 30 hours a week to help pay off my own schooling. I had a ton of leadership positions in many of my groups on campus. I was taking some of my hardest classes ever (I’m looking at you Critical Theory and Advanced Comp!!!!), and I was surviving in them. On top of all that, I had managed to finish acting in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream…and if there are any theatre kids out there, you know that theatre consumes your life. I learned a couple of arias from Handel’s Messiah. I lived 14 hours away from my family.

I bet you that everyone in town talks about how incapable I am at cat-sitting (in fact, I was not invited back…probably for obvious reasons). But being an adult isn’t about having your life together or always knowing how to handle a situation. It isn’t about graduating or not graduating. It isn’t about having a family or staying single and traveling the world. Frankly, I still don’t know what it’s about. I’m technically an adult in the eyes of the law. I sob in my choir professor’s office because Benjamin Britten stresses me out. I consume my weight in cookie dough ice cream every week. I work hard from 8AM to 12:00AM so I can reward myself with two hours of video games, and six hours of sleep. I do just about anything for a free meal. Sometimes, I’m in a hurry, so I use my purse as a to-go container for sweet potato fries.

But I’m also a planner. I spend hours thinking of routes for travel and making packing lists. I run errands to the grocery store and bank. I cook dinner for my family or sometimes for my friends. I earn my own money. I take care of my cats. I go on adventures. I stay home and read.

But no matter what I do, I grow. I’m not the same frightened child watching Batman vs. Dracula and sobbing into a couch cushion. I’m not the same paranoid teen skulking through a professor’s house with a knife. I’m not even the same person I was yesterday, and yesterday, I wasn’t anything particularly grand. I was just a tired cashier-in-training who screwed up at least two orders.

Graduating doesn’t change what kind of person I am. It helps me grow little by little. I’m not where I want to be in life yet. Things like my “kitty crisis” (look at me name dropping the title) keep me grounded and remind me that I’ve come a long way, and I still have a long way to go.

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30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 30

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I don’t think I’ll even apologize for skipping this one. I had a wonderful weekend (even if it was a little bit busy). But I’m proud of myself for powering through this. It’s been a long month, but I’m glad I did this.

Your highs and lows of the month.

It’s often very easy to look back and think about how terrible something was. It’s actually a little too easy if you ask me, and I struggled a little bit to think about the good things. But as I looked through my old journal, I realized that I had a pretty great month.

Red Panda

My trip to the Omoriyama Zoo.

This tiny zoo is nestled in the outskirts of Akita. It was a 40 minute bus ride from Akita station, and my friend and I had no idea what to expect. But my suite mate promised us red pandas (or as they’re called in Japanese, lesser pandas.) This was quite possibly the most wonderful zoo I’ve ever been to. It was small, but I got to see native Japanese animals like the raccoon dog and eat a peanut butter sandwich in front of a lovely lake. Even if there was a little bit of an awkward moment between the mommy and daddy elephant (it’s springtime!!), we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. And the lesser pandas were adorable.

FERN

I got an email in my inbox that asked me about ferns. I thought this was the weirdest thing ever, but it turned out that it was actually an old friend of mine who wanted to reconnect. We became online friends while I was in high school via a Fire Emblem forum. It was my first experience with a real forum, and the few people on that website became like my family. I spoke with them on a daily basis. After we all started growing up and the forum died, I was…more than a little sad. But it’s back with a new name and the same old faces. I’m more than a little happy about that. (And just so you know, FERN stands for Fire Emblem Roleplaying Network. But I’m waiting for the day someone buys an actual fern.)

Pancake party with my friends

My Australian friend randomly decided, “Hey! Let’s have a banana pancake and coffee party.” So we did. We got together and whipped us up some delicious pancakes. I shared my peanut butter and found out that it’s common in Australia to put sugar and lemon on pancakes. (I’ll stick with my peanut butter.) I got to talk to some super sweet Japanese students as well.

This month wasn’t without its complications though. Stressing about classes, worrying about this and that… That’s life though. We live through it.

Screwing up at my Gospel Choir concert

More recently, I’ve had a lot of communication problems with Gospel Choir. I try my hardest to understand, but I usually end up frustrated. I volunteered to write/read an introduction for a song for our concert. I wanted to be useful. However…because I didn’t understand I just messed up. Even when I asked in English I messed up. It’s quite difficult to explain, but I basically did everything wrong, and I still don’t think I’ve apologized enough. I’ve come back to my room from rehearsal more than a few times in tears because I wish I was better at understanding.

Getting lost on the way to the cat café

While it’s pretty trivial, my travel buddy and I spent several hours search for a cat café in Akita City. After wandering, getting lost, and wandering some more, we finally met a nice guy with near perfect English, who took us where we needed to go. …but it was closed. At least we knew our way back, but that took another 40 minutes.

Getting my nasty sunburn

This one is simple. I got sunburned. Badly. I have really bad tan lines. Japanese sunscreen does not work on me. Somehow I survived.

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 1

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I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I wanted to do a 30 Day Writing Challenge (which I found on Sudrobelle’s blog) to help myself get in the swing of blogging. I could wait for a new month or a new week to start, but why? If I don’t do it now while the thought is fresh on my mind, I may just continue to delay it. I forced myself to do NaNoWriMo a few years ago. If I can do that, I can take a little time out of my day to write a bit more.

So here goes nothing!

30 Day Writing Challenge

List 10 Things That Make You Really Happy

I’m honestly an easy person to please; when I get happy, I get really happy, and it’s usually because of the simplest of things.

1.) Sweaters, but more specifically cardigans.

Recently, I fell in love with sweaters of all kinds. Heavy wool ones with big blocky patterns; light, hipster cardigans; baggy Walmart sweatshirts… My wardrobe consists primarily of sweaters stolen from my mother. Falling asleep in my favorite sweatshirt during the dead of winter or enjoying the perfect spring day in my gray cat-patterned cardigan brings a smile to my face.

2.) My Cat – Miss Theodora Epsilonia Darcy

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I love my cat. She can be a jerk, but I love her. She’s a princess. She’s lazy. She’s pear-shaped. But when her tiny face bumps against my forehead or her big ol’ rump plops down on my computer, and I can feel her vibrating with happiness, those are the moments I explode with happiness.

3.) Sweet Potatoes

This is my favorite food. Hands down. Ask anyone, but there are only two foods in the world that make me happy enough to sing: sweet potatoes and ice cream. If you think about it, potatoes are the perfect food. You can do anything with them. Fry them. Stew them. Boil them. Mash them. Smother them in bacon and cheese. They’re a meal, a side, and a dessert. Cover sweet potatoes in butter and brown sugar or maybe marshmallows or just eat them plain. I can’t be sad when I have a sweet potato.

4.) Josh Groban and Benedict Cumberbatch

Okay. I had to combine these two guys, because I fangirl over them equally as much. Josh Groban is my favorite singer, and Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor. I think I were to meet either of them, my heart might stop beating. I can’t be sad when I hear their voices.

5.) Reading an artfully written story

Ever since I started college, I’ve found it almost impossible to enjoy a movie or a book because my professors have trained me to point out flaws in creative content. It sucks. I used to love reading young adult fiction as a guilty pleasure, but now I can’t get over the insane love triangles, dystopian societies, zombie angel vampires… I can’t even remember what the new fad is. But every once in a while, I find a beautiful book that still appreciates language, and it makes me happy. I recently read a book called The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The language captivated me, and even though the story was simple, I enjoyed myself a lot more than I usually could.

6.) Hearing the words “well done” or “good job”

I’m a hard worker. I want to get stuff done. I usually don’t care for recognition, but sometimes, I’ve poured hours into a project. I’ve thrown my soul into an essay. I’ve broken my back to pull off an event. Nothing makes me happier than hearing those simple words from even one person.

7.) Warm showers

I’ve mentioned this before. My “me” time at the end of the day always consists of a warm shower. My day is never complete until I’ve spent at least ten minutes standing under warm water, scrubbing away the rest of my day. It always chases off any worries or headaches I might have.

8.) Lunch/Dinner conversations

You might think my list is devoid of anything super personal to me. Well, this is probably the most personal. For me, my family revolves around meals. Our lives are so different, but they intersect at meal times. The conversations we share are the most memorable and beautiful. I will always remember my grandma throwing ice at me at Mimi’s on my 18th birthday and hitting a nearby waiter instead. I’ll remember listening to four different stories at once and retaining every detail. I’ll remember diving into the platter of fajitas and talking with my mouth half-full of meat after a day at work. Every meal time memory is full of laughter.

9.) The color purple

No. Not the book. I fully believe that the color purple (at least one shade) looks good on anyone. Every time I see someone wearing anything in that color, I tell them they look wonderful, because they do. Purple makes me happy, and I think everyone should be happy wearing that color.

10.) Acting

Peter Quince

Peter Quince from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’m not a professional by any means, but I’ve had plenty of time on stage. Performing on a theatrical stage is wonderful. I get terrible stage fright anywhere else but the theatre. I get to become anyone but myself. I get to make people laugh or cry. Every show is different. Sometimes you have to be a theatre kid to understand the happiness we get from performances.