A pair of fuzzy sisters

Back in August Michael and I inherited a kitten. She had been a stray who was adopted by Michael’s friend Ellen, but Ellen was killed in a car accident about a month later. Ellen’s husband did not want to keep the kitten; they already had three cats as it was, and this one reminded him so strongly of Ellen that it upset him to look at her. Michael and I had been in the market for a cat anyway, so we happily took it off his hands. Ellen had named her Smoke. We re-named her Aria.

When we first got her, Aria was tiny enough to squeeze under closed doors. Now she’s, I believe, around eight or nine months old and has graduated from “tiny” to “small.” Michael says she’ll always be small, because she has little paws and he says the size of the paws are a good indicator of the size of the cat. Carmen, our other cat, is huge — around fourteen pounds. Aria weighs five.

Anyway, those two get along great. They groom each other, sleep side by side, chase each other around the house, wrestle, and sometimes fight, just like sisters should. Michael and I really lucked out, I think. We have such sweet, friendly, cuddly cats, when so many cats are standoffish, and they get along so well, when often cats don’t get along with each other. Plus, both of them are absolutely beautiful. Carmen’s fur is so floofy and with beautiful coloring and Aria’s fur is so sleek and shiny and both have big bright eyes. In my totally unbiased opinion they are the most gorgeous cats on God’s green earth.

I took a bunch of pictures of them both with my phone just now and thought I’d share some of them here:carmenaria2

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Feeling a bit better now

I think I’ve started to get used to the new meds because I’m almost back to normal. Dad and I are going on a day trip to Michigan tomorrow, then I have to be in Ohio to watch Mom’s cat for the weekend while she’s on a camping trip. (Not sure if she has internet access or not.) When that is all done, God willing, I shall resume updating and answering my emails and posting some important stuff on this blog. I miss it very much but I was in no condition to do it before.

In the meantime, here is our new kitten, Aria:

Aria

Black cats don’t photograph very well and it was hard to get a good one for her. But I think this turned out well enough. She’s a very rambunctious critter and likes to go streaking from one end of the house to the other for no reason at all, and play Trampoline on the bed while Mommy and Daddy are trying to sleep. Aria and our other cat, Carmen, are still warming up to each other. It’s got to the point now where they will play together a bit, but if either one realizes we humans are watching, they’ll start hissing at each other. Knock it off, you two, you’re not fooling anyone.

One of my OT posts

Yesterday I went with Michael’s family to be a part of their church directory portrait. I had planned to wear a sundress for the picture but wound up wearing one of the brightly colored plaid shirts I favor instead. The whole process was rather agonizing in large part because Michael’s cat, Carmen, was also participating. She behaved herself about as well as can be expected: that is, she meowed and complained during the drive, then repeatedly refused to look at the camera like she was supposed to. But on the plus side she didn’t claw anyone or make a mess.

As I recall there was one portrait of all five of us together, one portrait of Michael’s parents, one portrait of Michael and me, and one portrait of Michael, me and Carmen. I was tasked with holding her and it was difficult to do so and smile at the same time. But I think the pictures turned out well. They’ll arrive in a few weeks and I’d like to compare them to the last church portrait, from five years ago.

I’ve been watching Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour documentary on the Holocaust. In segments, obviously. To say I am enjoying the movie would probably not be proper, but I am certainly intrigued by it. So far Lanzmann has interviewed a bunch of survivors and witnesses, and two low-level Nazis, both convicted war criminals. One didn’t want to talk. The other was willing and actually quite honest and open about his experiences, speaking freely (though without remorse) on the condition that Lanzmann not use his name. He was unaware that Lanzmann was secretly recording the interview with a hidden camera — and of course, he did identify the man for the film. And I thought: Sucker!

Michael and I had a spirited discussion about it last night. I told him what I had seen so far and he feels Lanzmann was wrong, very wrong, to videotape his interview without the person’s knowledge or consent. A violation of journalistic ethics, he says. Which is true. But, well, the man was a Nazi and I can’t muster up a lot of sympathy for him.

As for the other Nazi war criminal — the guy worked at a bar, serving drinks, and couldn’t just walk away even though he dearly wanted to. The film showed him handing out beers while at the same time trying to hide his face from the camera, and repeatedly saying “I don’t want to talk about this” and “I don’t want to answer that question” in response to Lanzmann’s “Do you remember the bodies? What they smelled like?” and such other remarks. When I watched it I thought: You sniveling little coward, look up at the camera and face up to what you saw and did.

Michael thinks the man’s refusal to talk about the war does not make him a coward and that Lanzmann was being a bully by essentially ambushing him at work. He says “ambush journalism” is also an ethics violation. Perhaps it is. But, well, again, this guy was a Nazi.

It’s food for thought anyway. And for what it’s worth, Shoah wasn’t released until years after both these men were dead.

I look forward to watching the rest. I’ve got to get it done as quickly as possible so I can send the discs back to Netflix. They won’t send any more movies until I do.

Happy birthday dear Carmen…and other birthdays

Michael’s cat, Carmen, turns three today, October 1. Michael got her on October 22, 2009 and she is the most wonderful cat in the world. She loves everybody, purrs all the time and gets along very well with the rats.

I just took a cell phone pic of her:

Annnnnd here’s a photo taken by Michael, of Carmen looking at me with an expression of absolute scorn:

I turn 27 on Friday, October 5 — god, that feels old, another year and I’ll be out of my mid-twenties and pushing thirty.

And the Charley Project turns eight on October 12.

All the animals in the zoo

I used my trusty cell phone to take some not-very-good quality pictures of my ani-pals tonight.

Presenting Carmen, who is a cat, obviously, a little more than one year old. Carmen is one of those cats that actually grew more attractive as she got older. She was a cute kitten of course — all kittens are cute — but she grew into a beautiful adult cat.

And my rats, Gypsy and Harriet. Unfortunately they wouldn’t cooperate with the camera and only Gypsy deigned to show us her face. You can see their home in the background. They like to sit in the blue triangular hammocky thing. Both of them will squeeze themselves in there at once.

And this, alas, is Gypsy’s mammary tumor. It’s enormous, but it does not seem to be bothering her yet. Unless she’s climbing the side of the cage, you can’t see it at all except for the funny way she walks. Michael and I are monitoring her closely and when she begins to suffer we will send her to the big Rat Burrow in the Sky. But why hurry? She seems happy enough at present.

A new member of the family

My boyfriend went out and got an eight-week-old kitten today. Her name is Carmen. She’s a brown tabby with hazel eyes, long hair, white paws and a white bib. She looks like every other kitten in the world — that is, adorable. Pick her up and right away she starts purring like she’s got a little motor inside her.

That makes a current total of four pets: Carmen the cat, our two rats Gypsy and Belle, and Alley the chihuahua, who actually belongs to my boyfriend’s roommate.