Tuesday, November 14, 2006

15 Minutes with Ashleigh and Lorenzo in 1500 words

Since I moved to the beach I have taken many, many walks along the Huntington Beach shore line. I try to walk at least 1 mile in one direction so that by the time I return home I will have chalked up at least 2 miles. Along the way I pick up lots and lots of beautiful, fragile sea shells and brought them home. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of the sea shells; I just know that I like them. They are pretty. I look upon them as offerings from the sea. I also like to collect sea glass. For any of you who don’t know what sea glass is it’s bits and pieces of glass that have been tumbled around in the ocean so long that the edges become smooth and the gloss is opaque. Sea glass is pretty rare so every piece I find is like a gift. I have also collected some odd offerings from the sea such as a tiny toy figurine of Buzz Lightyear, a toy soldier and some small toy dog whose name I do not know. The shells, the glass and the toys all sit upon my kitchen counter. Everything is sorted out…the sea glass is in one container, the fan shells are in another container, the oyster shells are in another container and the toys set in my windowsill. Or should I say they all started out that way.

Everyday when I come home from work the toys are in the sink and there are one or two sea shells on the floor. When I’ve caught the terrorists, (Ashleigh & Lorenzo) in the act of getting into the sea shells I have scolded them. “NO!” I tell them as I pick them up off of the counter and put them on the floor. This is quite ineffective for a couple of reasons. First of all Lorenzo is deaf. I just don’t know how to scold a deaf cat. I will not spank him and shaking my finger in front of his face just makes him follow my finger around looking at it like something is going to come out of it. Ashleigh see’s being taken off of the counter and on to the floor as the start of the “See how quickly I can jump right back up on to the counter and get back in to the dish of sea shells” game. And. She. Is. Fast. I usually take Ashleigh off first but by the time I’ve gotten Lorenzo off of the counter Ashleigh is already right back up on the counter and headed for the sea shells. Lorenzo will usually sit there and pout but Ashleigh is always ready to fight the good fight for all Kitten Kind. I can pretty much count on having to take her off of the counter at least 5 times before she will think of something else to do. Unfortunately for me that “something else” is usually climbing up my pant leg or running from a few feet away and attempting to land on my back so that she can climb up to my shoulder and then attempt to sit on top of my head. For some reason this takes me by surprise every time. Obviously I can grab her when she is climbing up my leg but I am not quite limber enough to remove anything that is trying to attach itself to my back. I’ve clipped her nails recently so the last few attempts at climbing anything have proven to be futile.
I digress.

I had initially left the sea shells out on the counter so that they could dry up. However last week I came home to find at least 100 sea shells on the kitchen floor. Ashleigh and Lorenzo came yawning from their separate corners of the house….stretching their selves awake, blinking and winking, trying their hardest to look cute and innocent. The following conversation then takes place:

Me: “I can’t believe you two. Look at this mess!”
Me, (noticing that a lot of the shells are broken): “Oh my God, did you bone heads EAT the sea shells?!”

By now they are both lying in the sea shells acting like this is a behavior that I carefully and rigorously taught them. I get the broom out, (yes, the broom that they have all but chewed the padding off of the handle), and attempt to sweep up the mess. Sweeping is the new fun game from Kenner and never let it be said that Ashleigh and Lorenzo ever missed a round. I have one kitten swatting at and chasing the stuff I’m attempting to sweep and the other kitten is chasing at and biting the broom bristles. I now have one kitten with a mouthful of sea shell bits and another one with sea shell bits all embedded in her little kitty fur.

Me: “URGH! Thanks for all the help, guys. Get. Out. Of. Here.”

Then I foolishly start a new game of flinging the kittens out of the kitchen only to see that Ashleigh is right back in there under my feet before I even get a grip on Lorenzo. I try to grab a kitten in each hand but since Ashleigh knows that my hands are full she starts to bite me as soon as I make contact with her.

Me: (cussing)
Me: “You weenies. Get. OUT. Of. Here!”

I see a chance to sweep like a maniac while the terrorists are momentarily side tracked by a quick moment of fun in the cat box. I have almost accomplished something before they are back in the kitchen but now they have kitty litter stuck to their paws and are now adding to the mess. I’ve decided that I will at the very least get the bigger chunks picked up and thrown away and then maybe later I will be able to sweep up the rest of the rubble. I bring the trash can in to the kitchen and take the lid off. Oh Happy Day! The trash can is where I obviously hide the tuna and cat nip because the dynamic duo is always trying to get inside of it. I manage to get a few chunks of sea shells and kitty litter into the trash can before Ashleigh has managed to pull it over on to her self. While she is flailing under the trash can Lorenzo keeps a good eye on everything that I am putting in there. Ashleigh makes it out from underneath the trash can and decides that she is going to find safer ground. Up my back she goes and on top of my head she sits. Believe it or not, I think it’s easier to clean up this mess with a kitten on top of my head rather than at my feet being in the thick of things so I let her stay there. Lorenzo is now inside the trash can looking for the aforementioned tuna and catnip. Not being able to locate anything that actually concerns him, Lorenzo darts out of the trash can with an empty zip lock bag in his mouth. He is running hell bent for Jericho and you can tell by the look on his face that he thinks he’s found something very, very special. I let him run hoping that Ashleigh will find sport in this and get off of my head so that I can get this mess cleaned up once and for all. Foolish me. Life is much better being on top of my head. Let poor Lorenzo run around with an empty bag, Ashleigh wants none of it.

I realize that there is a distinct possibility that Lorenzo could chew on the plastic bag and swallow and thus choke on the plastic so I pull Ashleigh off of my head, (I’m sure there was blood involved), and I go off to find him. When I find Lorenzo he is bouncing all over my bed trying to break free from this thing that is obviously chasing him. He has the bag hooked on one of his fangs and can’t get away from it. I capture the e-vil bag and dislodge it from Lorenzo’s mouth. I’m so afraid that this will have traumatized the poor little guy in to heart failure but as soon as the bag is free Lorenzo jumps off of the bed and runs back toward the direction of the kitchen and the sea shells. I roll my eyes and shake my head as I hurry back to the kitchen.

There are no kittens in the kitchen. They are playing happily with the chord to the blinds on the front door.

Me: “Wasn’t that just you two of you, mere moments ago, insisting that being in the middle of the mess on the kitchen floor was the best place in the whole wide world to be, tap tap, no erasies?
Them: “That was so 5 minutes ago. Can you clean up that mess, what will the neighbors think?”

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Fond memories of a day at the mall with Jennifer Emily, my long legged red headed cat

Our mall used to have a "Picture People" photography studio that produced quality photo's in 1 hour. (Yeah, quality.) Every year they would have a pet picture contest where you could bring in any pet and they'd take the picture for free. You would get a package of prints for free and they would display all of the pictures they took and anyone who wanted could pay $1.00 to vote for the cutest picture and the money went to the local animal shelter. The pictures were all adorable. There were pictures of little kids in overalls standing next to a baby cow, there were pictures of baby's with a whole herd of puppies, there were snakes and rats and guinea pigs and I even remember one of a donkey! My twin sister and I took my mom's cat in and had her picture taken and it turned out as cute as it could possibly be. We took my sister's cat and we had the same results. No problems what so ever. I decided that I really, really wanted to bring my precious princess in to have her picture taken. My kitty, Jennifer, was a spoiled rotten weenie, and "nice" was not usually a word included in descriptions of her. (Unless I was the one doing the describing. Jennifer loved me and me only, everyone else could go to hell as far as she was concerned and she had no problem whatsoever getting that sentiment across.)

Somehow I wrangled her into the cat carrier and drove her to the mall. As soon as we got inside the Macy's she started yowling. This brought a lot of attention to her. Jennifer didn't like attention so what did she do? She pooped. (And not just a little bit.) And just for good measure she pee'd, too. So here I am walking though Macy's Department store with cat who is yowling her head off and is also smelling up the joint. I thought I would just clean everything up as soon as we got to the picture place and then that is when I felt the cat pee running down MY leg. Strangers were sympathetic to Jennifer's yowling and many attempted to console her but once they got within smelling distance of her they all backed off. I've never been more proud. Of course there was not a single place in the mall between Macy's and the picture place where I could get a napkin so I just went as fast as I could to the picture place and went straight into their restroom. I got Jennifer out of the carrier and she was covered in pee. I did my best to clean her off and get the carrier rinsed off. I came out of the restroom carrying her and I told the photographer that I really, really needed to be next. I'm sure when they saw the wet cat they thought I was insane for wanting to have her photographed but they saw the look in Jennifer's eyes and agreed to let me go next. The next 5 minutes were a blur, but needless to say Jennifer refused to channel her inner Kate Moss so we called it a day and went home. The next day I went back to collect my pictures and lo and behold there were 4 poses. All of them action shots. Out of the 4 poses you can almost see her face in one shot, and the other 3 were all of her from the shoulders down escaping off of the table. I thought all of the pictures were hysterical and was bitterly disappointed when my mom and sister refused to frame them and hang them in their living rooms.
Rest in peace my little Fenny Fen. I miss you every day.