Short Update

Early this week, I drove out to Ohio to visit my mom. I hadn’t seen her since Christmas and was missing her. I had a really great visit with her! We stayed up til 3, 4, 5am every night talking. It was so nice to reconnect with her.

Adam and I arrived Sunday morning around 1130EST. (We left home about 430CST.) I drove the entire six hours with direction from the Hungarian Grandmother I downloaded to my GPS. I probably wouldn’t have stopped at all for more time than to get gas and/or pee but Adam woke me up and started asking for food. He didn’t want the food I’d packed. Hmph. I listened to my three playlists (The Commute Mix, Elventified™!, and The 90s) and had fun singing along. The only hard part was when the sun was rising. I was driving East. You do the math.

It felt SO NICE to drive like that, you guys. When you’re on the Interstate between 4-6am, it’s pretty much empty. I was able to sit back and really just become reacquainted with my car. I am not comfortable driving her in the city, but I certainly enjoyed bonding with her on the highway.

I ate terribly when I was there. Well, except the home cooked stuff. Somehow that doesn’t count, right? :) But I ate fast food three times (shh, don’t tell my yogi friends) and I snacked a lot more than usual. My mom and Adam said I don’t eat enough. Three meals and day and two snacks just sound like SO MUCH, though, and I just can’t do it. I don’t get hungry enough.

Here are a couple of new things I tried:

Oh YUM!!
OH MY GOD this juice is soooooo freaking good, I can’t wait to get more!!!

Actually really delicious!
I know right? But they tasted really good. I shared this little bag with my mom and Adam.

Sweet Lord Yes!

We don’t have Bob Evans very close to us yet, so I ate there twice on this trip. This is the French toast topped with blueberries. More please.

I visited with some cousins and Aidan and Chris came up to visit too! So I get a bonus Aidan visit! :D


I’ve been home for a few days now. Still worn out and I have yet to unpack. Haven’t been to a yoga class in well over a week. But I did make it to my anatomy class and I worked yesterday. I spent all day today reading and being lazy.

I promise to get back on track tomorrow. There is a rogue cat turd in this house and the scent is driving me up a wall. That’s how they punish us for leaving, by the way. Pooping all over the place. Ugh. There is always one that is hidden very well and I literally have to sniff it out. Gross. I’ve got to eradicate that ASAP; my nose can’t take it.

OK then. Til next time.


Kitty Love: Lucy, My Angel Kitty

Little Lucy

Baby Lucy

Lucy came to live with me in September of 2001. My friend Jennifer’s dog had found three kittens in their field, and little Lucy was among them. It was love at first sight. She was so teeny tiny and loving and sweet that I begged, absolutely BEGGED Chris for us to take her home. We already had two cats, didn’t really need another, but this little kitty clung to me and squeaked like her life depended on it.

Lucy II

Pictures don’t do her justice. She was a breathtakingly beautiful cat with the most adorable squeaky meow. The first night with her, I gave her a bath and then cuddled with her for hours in a little bathroom. I was determined to have a lap cat, and Lucy was more than OK with that. She purred and purred and ever since then, she’d made her home on my lap. Sometimes when it wasn’t the most convenient.

Annoying Little Lucy

Lucy was super skittish. Most people probably really didn’t believe we had a third cat, because she was NEVER around when there was company. She’d disappear, only coming out when the company was gone and just the family was around.

She was naughty, getting into everything. Christmas was always… interesting with her around. She had a fascination with all sorts of Christmas trees.

Lucy Regards the Tree Lucy Loses

She loved orange processed cheese products, so Doritos and Cheetos were not safe around her. She’d come and lick all the “cheese” off. Other than that, she had no interest in people food. She liked to nibble on my hair (usually when I was sleeping) and she’d fidget and fidget and fidget until I blew my breath in her face. I guess she needed to know what I’d eaten that day before she could rest easy.

Little Lucy

Unfortunately, Little Lucy had to be put down on May 30, 2008 due to severe illness that set in very shortly after I moved to Chicago. She spent most of her time in or under the bed, too weak to even make it to her food and water most days. She never did adjust to living in Chicago and her health deteriorated quickly. I think about her every single day and miss her terribly, and I never stop wondering if there was anything I could have done to save her.

RIP my kitty angel. You will always be loved.

Little Lucy


Kitty Love: Crookshanks

This is Crookshanks the Cat

Crookshanks Photo Shoot

Even though Fi is two years older, Crookshanks is the clear king of The Krookery on May. He owns all of us.

Crookshanks is a demanding little sucker. He has a very loud meow and is not afraid to use it. I swear his meow sounds like “Aaaadam? Aaaadam? AAAADDDAMMMM!”

Crookshanks Photo Shoot

If Crookshanks wants to sit on your lap, you give him your lap.
If he wants to walk on your stomach, you’d best be letting him.
If he wants to sleep in the bed with you,
you’d better let him do so or you won’t be getting a wink of sleep.

“respect my authoritay”

Crookshanks is a first class brat. If we leave to go on vacation for any amount of time, we can expect to come home to an apartment filled with poop turds in various places. It’s his revenge, I suppose, for leaving him lapless. He will also pee in a naughty place in a heartbeat. And don’t let me try to do yoga. You know what happens then.

Cat Savasana

Crookshanks don’t care.
Crookshanks don’t give a crap.
Crookshanks just does what he wants.

Crookshanks Photo Shoot
“this is my house”

But the one thing that Crookshanks does that makes everyone fall for him? He is the most loving, affectionate cat ever. He loves everyone. Every new animal is a new friend/co-conspirator. Every person is his new best friend, every lap a place to relax and purr, purr, purr. And Crookshanks is a loud purrer. You can hear him from a different room if it’s quiet enough.

He loves music, and for some reason he seems to like it when I sing. He hops on my lap (usually my computer) and purrs like a maniac. He snores like a human, and it’s hilarious to hear him from across the room. Sometimes, if I am very lucky, he’ll stand on my back and give me a kitty massage, complete with purring and kneading.

Happy Birthday, Crookshanks!

If Crookshanks and I had a relationship status on Facebook, it would be “It’s Complicated.” I hate that he poops all over the place, but I love that he’s so warm and affectionate. He’s not easy to live with, but it would be weird to live without him.


Kitty Love: Fi

This is Fi


I got Fi in 1999. He was a Christmas gift. A tiny little ball of black who was more than a little bit skittish. I understood completely where the phrase “scaredy cat” came from!

I’d always thought black cats were good luck. When I was in college, my roommate Heather had a black cat named Magic who I thought was so cool. His silky fur, his pretty eyes. I knew that when I owned my first cat, it’d have to be a black cat.


One of the main questions I get asked is How did you come up with the name Fi?

… Yeah. About that. The person who gave us Fi told us that he was a girl named Fiona. “Fiona” was also allegedly healthy, had just been dewormed, etc.


Fi was very sick. Dehydrated. Fever. Ear mites. Two types of worms. Fleas. A lot older than the few weeks the person had told us.


It took a lot of mental shifting to switch from “girl cat” to “boy cat.” I mean, it’s silly, but there it was. I felt betrayed. Not by the cat–it wasn’t his fault. But by the person who gave him to us, who clearly knew NOTHING about cats. Although to be fair, even the vet didn’t catch that Fi was a boy–certain things didn’t drop until later. But there were the huge vet bills that Chris and I could ill afford, the lectures from the vet about how sick Fi was (well duh, that’s why we were bringing him in), and the sinking feeling that I’d maybe gotten in over my head.


I wasn’t a very attentive cat owner back then. I’d just discovered Internet Girl World and also the joys of high speed internet, so I spent a LOT of time on the computer and not enough time with Fi. It’s no wonder that as he got older, he grew less affectionate toward me. He’d be on the floor and I’d sit by him to pet him. Within two minutes, he’d get up and leave. He wasn’t a lap cat at all, and he didn’t care to be picked up. He definitely kept his distance.

Saturday Night

Then Aidan came along.

Squish The Cat!

I realized how amazingly patient Fi was because he let Aidan squish him like this ALL THE TIME. When Chris and I separated, I left Fi with Aidan because he’d clearly become Aidan’s cat. I’d gone back to visit a few times, but Fi only seemed interested in me if I had food. He’s a champion beggar, that one.

In 2011, Chris and his partner had a total of six cats. They were moving and he told me that he needed to think about getting rid of some of the cats. I told him, IMMEDIATELY, that I wanted Fi. I told him a million times. And one weekend in July, Fi was back with me.

I Love This Cat

Fi had changed. Another question I get asked a lot is What is wrong with his eyes?

Fi has conjunctivitis, and needs eye drops. He’ll likely have it the rest of his life. He also has allergies and makes the cutest little sneezes and sniffles. But the most remarkable change is how affectionate he’s become. I’m pretty sure he remembered me, because when Chris handed him over to me, Fi immediately started purring. He’s been my baby boy ever since. He doesn’t distance himself from me anymore, and anytime I walk into the room, before I even touch him, the motor starts. Sometimes, he even gets on my lap, and remember, Fi’s not much of a lap cat.

Fi on my lap! He never gets on laps.

Fi is a completely chill cat. He’s quiet, calm, and relaxed. The only time he gets mad is when it’s time for eye drops. But even he seems to know when he needs them the most, because then he just kind of sits there resigned. He’s such a good cat, often demanding pets, purring loudly, and just being awesome. He often goes off by himself to relax and be still. He’s still super patient, and he’s super sweet. I love my Fi. :)


Kitty Love: Helena

Meet Helena.

Enjoying the Sun

She’s my orange tabby cat. Orange cats are also known as “ginger” or “marmalade.” Sometimes I call her my Little Orange Girl. I also call her Little Lena.

Most orange cats are male; only 1 in 4 orange cats are female. That makes my Little Lena special. :)

A couple of famous orange cats are Garfield and Heathcliff. Neither of them are as cute as Helena.

Beautiful Helena
helena in 2008

We adopted Helena on July 12, 2008 from PAWS Chicago, a no kill animal shelter here in the city.

the day we brought her home

She was shy with me and Adam but she loved Aidan and Crookshanks right away. Most kittens run and hide when you bring them home and let them out of the box. Helena did just that… but Crookshanks went into our room and poked his nose under the bed. She came out, they bumped noses, and have been friends ever since.

Cuddly Kitties
this was just two days after we brought her home

Even though she used to follow me and purr and roll all around, it took her just under a month to trust me enough to get and stay close to me.

Mommy & Kitty
me and lena in august 2008

Helena was quite a challenge at first. She’d come from a hoarder situation–basically a crazy cat lady who had 40 cats. They were not taken care of, and some of the cats had started to eat each other. :( Apparently, it was a bad situation. She also needed a lot of dental work, which we got done as soon as we could.

Then there were the behavioral problems. She clearly wanted to be petted, but anytime Adam or I would touch her, she’d immediately start biting us. She peed everywhere, including clothing I’d set out to put on when I got out of the shower. We almost took her back to PAWS numerous times, but something told me to hold on. Lots of Nature’s Miracle and splashes from the spray bottle later, she’s finally stopped, for the most part, peeing in naughty places.

Beautiful Helena

Helena calmed down at LOT sometime in 2010. I often wonder if it had more to do with the fact that we switched the cats’ food from whatever was cheapest to Iams, or if she just mellowed the heck out. After all, she was just a baby when we got her (just over a year old) and by then, she’d been with us for a while and she wasn’t a kitten anymore. She started cuddling more and more with me: sleeping on my feet, and scooting next to me and purring. Suddenly, she was my baby girl.

Enjoying the Sun

Helena loves the orange afghan that Adam’s grandma Dee made for us. If I want her to sit on my lap, all I have to do is put that afghan across my legs.

Little Lena

She also loves her daily serving of canned food, so much so that she drives Adam absolutely batty until he breaks down and feeds her. She hates it when Crookshanks is allowed to sleep in our bed but she isn’t. (She hasn’t quite learned that our feet are not to be attacked.) When the cats are out of water, she stands by the water dish purposefully, and if that doesn’t get our attention, she puts her paw into the dry dish and taps insistently. She loves to be pet on her head and will stand on her hind legs so you can reach her better. She still follows me into the bathroom, and I swear she purposely holds her poops until I sit down to have dinner, because that is when she decides to hit the litter box.

Pretty Helena

A lot of noise, strangers, and activity makes her nervous, and she’ll run and hide in a hot minute. People get a kick of seeing her dart across the room and disappear behind the couch. Once the place settles down, though, she comes out cautiously and heads over to take a drink from the water dish. Then she relaxes and settles in for her nine thousandth cat nap of the day.

I love my Little Lena.

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