Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why I May Be Suing Somebody

I woke up Sunday with a horrific neckache.

"What's the hell?" I wondered crankily, as I staggered to the bathroom to attend to bidness and brush my teeth. Four possibilities came to mind immediately:

  1. Meningitis
  2. Neck cancer
  3. MS flareup
  4. Slept funny

I was pretty sure it was one of the first two, but I wasn't going to rule out #3 or #4 immediately. I'd mull it over while having some coffee.

First there was cat bidness to deal with. LOTS of it. Who the hell decided three cats was a good idea? So, yeah, feeding, scooping litter, medicating...crap. By the time I was done, I was ready for a good sit-down.

Coffee in hand, I settled down on the couch. Ahhhhh. Better. Wait! What's this? Why, it's my laptop, positioned just how I left it (on top of a box containing a puzzle that I thought my husband and I could do as a wholesome alternative to watching TV). I looked around guiltily. Oh, that's right! Husband is out of town!!

"Well, what's the harm, really?" I said to myself reassuringly. "I mean, one or two more episodes isn't such a big deal."

Capt. Nap was sprawled out in the middle of the floor, vigorously cleaning his butt.


He paused for a second, glanced at me, and resumed cleaning.

"Whatever," I mumbled, and lurched forward to turn on my laptop and continue my "Breaking Bad" marathon on Netflix.

Mid-lurch I stopped in agony. Was the meningitis getting worse? What WAS this horrible pain?? Did I need to go to Urgent Care? I gritted my teeth and turned on my laptop. Once the show began, I sank back into the couch. My neck throbbed. I could not get into a comfortable position. It was totally interfering with my enjoyment of the show. I thought back to yesterday; what had I done?

  1. Woke up
  2. Cat bidness
  3. "Breaking Bad" (begin Season 1)
  4. Showered
  5. More "Breaking Bad"
  6. Lunch
  7. "Breaking Bad" (begin Season 2)
  8. Cat bidness
  9. Dinner
  10. "Breaking Bad" (finish Season 2)
  11. Well-earned sleep

See! Nothing strenuous -- unless it was taking care of those damn cats. Maybe I twisted my neck trying to scoop one of the four (4), YES, FOUR, litterboxes? Hmmmm. This was a mystery. I slumped into a slightly different position on the couch, cursing and trying to keep my head in a position where I could see the show on my laptop. A very small lightbulb (like, nightlight-size) sputtered on.

"Now wait just a darn minute," I mused. "Could it be...?"

Could it be that the HOURS I'd spent the previous day hunched on the couch watching "Breaking Bad" had caused my horrific neck pain? Only one way to find out! I sprang off the couch to do some stretching exercises and then go outside for invigorating fresh air.


No, I didn't. I peeled myself off the couch, shuffled upstairs without moving my neck for a mega-dose of Aleve, and continued my disgusting "Breaking Bad" marathon. This time, though. I added another wholesome and unopened puzzle to my "laptop stand." Within an hour, I was feeling better -- and making an impressive dent in Season 3!

If any among you are lawyers (or if you've watched a lot of legal shows on TV), can you please advise me? I believe I *may* have a case against "Breaking Bad" and/or Netflix for mental anguish and...physical torment (?). I easily could wear one of those neck-brace thingys, if that would bolster my case.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cheer, Goodwill, and Embarrassments: Ms. CrankyPants' Holiday Letter!

Happy holidays, everyone! It's been quite a year! There have been some highlights, and many, MANY embarrassing lowlights, most of which I've shared with you. If you need a refresher, just click here or here. Oh, hell, click on any post in my blog; it's nearly all embarrassing.

Everyone knows that the very BEST holiday letters are all about bragging highlights, so let's get started!
  • I'll just get the biggie out of the way first: I now have 10 followers! It's taken close to a year, but 10 new people actually like me! Or at least, the Ms. CrankyPants version of me. For all you know, I could be a colossal ASS whom you'd hate in real life. (After all, I just used the word "whom.")
Thanks, 10 followers!
  • I haven't had an MS relapse in...ages. Is it the Copaxone? The Swank Diet? Is it because I don't really have MS at all but some other horrible disease? Or, could it be that strange "agreement" I made with the mysterious silver-tongued chap with the red tail and horns who showed up that one night with a contract? Dunno. Whatever. I've been feeling good. (Note: I've just officially jinxed myself.)

He LOOKED friendly enough...

  • Our fantastically wonderful family is growing! The cat-adoption stork brought us a little bundle of joy (LBOJ) named Pepper Anne! 

Pepper Anne, in one of her 4,872,810 adorable poses.
  • Our existing cats hate aren't especially fond of are slowly getting used to our LBOJ!
Capt. Nap: "I can't even look at her. She's HIDEOUS!"
  • In other exciting feline news, Squeaky the Cat just graduated Magna Cat Laude from Big Jerk Cat University and has received her Ph.D. in Cat-Assery. She is so skilled! She can now hiss/growl at Pepper Anne and Capt. Nap WHILE guarding her toys, food, and the communal water bowl. Oh, and also all four litter boxes. She's so talented! We are so, so proud. That tuition money was well spent indeed. 
"Who the hell are you calling a jerk? Cover my head at once, minion!"
  • Capt. Nap is also doing really well! He hasn't had an explosive vomiting session since September. Plus, remember his adorable POO PAWS that so delighted me back in January? He's taught l'il sis Pepper Anne how to actually walk in her poo before burying it. What a good big brother! Now we have two cats with the occasional poo paw. We couldn't be happier! (By the way, who wants to come over and lie on our carpet? First come, first served, friends. There's only so much carpet to go around!)
I call this section of carpet. (Sorry, homeowners get first pick.)
  • Husband is continuing to support me in my efforts to stave off disability via the Swank Diet! He's a wonderful cook! But, really, how can you go wrong with products like TOFURKEY sausage?
OOPS! Wrong picture.
You can see why I got confused.
  • I may have big boobs! Yes, friends, according to a highly trained expert at a local bra shop, I have spent most of my adult life wearing a way-too-tiny bra size. This was some of the best news in all of 2013 for the fabulous CrankyPants family!  
  • Back to our kitty cats! They have really impressed us this year by scorning every single product we've introduced in an attempt to toilet train them. Stubborn little kitties! I do love a cat with his or her own personality! Oh, and not to worry: they've promised to pay us back the $3,176 we spent on ridiculous devices designed to make scooping their litter boxes a task of the past. 
"Kwit the litter? NEVER!"
  • It sure was a great Halloween this year! We managed to significantly reduce the number of trick-or-treaters harassing us! No, it wasn't the unwrapped hard candies or the miniature boxes of ancient raisins we'd been passing out. We suspect it was because our neighbors saw my husband mowing the yard in the snow! "Why, those cat-loving, kid-less people are NUTS!" we think they might have said on the neighborhood shared social media platform that we imagine exists and to which we've not been invited. "I wouldn't send MY kids there this Halloween." Mission accomplished! 
This isn't my husband. I've been forbidden to use that picture. This is the mayor of someplace in Iowa. But you get the idea. And in his defense, my husband was not wearing shorts. 
  • Thanksgiving 2013 was a tremendous success! No four-legged attendees vomited or did a poo anywhere! Pepper Anne jumped on the dining room table and lurched toward the turkey only once! (Maybe twice.) (Okay, fine, thrice.) (And, yes, I just said "thrice.")
We look forward to the new year, new embarrassments, and, ideally, new carpet. May you and yours have a very happy holiday season! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Getting a Third Cat Is a Sign You Are Crazy

Some of you* have been wondering where I've been. I have a darn fine excuse, and her name is Pepper Anne. (*I'm going to go ahead and just pretend that's the case, without any actual proof to support that claim.)
"Hi! I'm Pepper Anne! Won't you be my friend?"
So I saw this picture on Homer the Blind WonderCat's Facebook page. I wrote about my quite-possibly-disturbing-to-non-cat-people "friendship" with the blind cat Homer (stop judging me) not too long ago. It seemed that darling Pepper Anne needed a home, and she was nearby. I began a Super-Stealthy Campaign to win over my husband.

"Just LOOK at this adorable kitten!" I'd chirp, thrusting my phone into his field of vision several times a day.

"Yeah, she's cute," he'd mumble, and continue trying to rake leaves or shower or drive off to work.

"Poor Squeaky," I'd muse, whenever Squeaky the Cat was looking slightly bored. "She needs a playmate."

"Poor Capt. Nap," I'd say, nudging my husband. "See how he's sleeping there on the couch? He totally is wishing he had someone to curl up with."

My husband would look at me blankly and I'd whip out the picture of Pepper Anne again.

"Just LOOK at this adorable kitten!" I'd chirp...and so forth.

After several days of my Super-Stealthy Campaign, I "discovered" that Pepper Anne would be at a local pet store during an adoption event. By making 1,275 perfectly reasonable promises, I managed to talk my husband into going to the pet store "just to LOOK."

Let's fast-forward. We have Pepper Anne. We're several weeks into the trial period, during which we make sure she meshes well with our resident cats. That bit has been rather...TAXING. Let's check in with everyone.

"This is MY toy!"
Squeaky the Cat spends a lot of time guarding this particular toy. When she's not guarding the toy (okay, even when she is guarding the toy), she's hissing, growling, and lunging. Mostly at Pepper Anne, but sometimes at Capt. Nap and/or my husband and me. Good times. She's by far the least won over by Pepper Anne's considerable charms.

"It's totally obvious that you don't love me AT ALL."
Capt. Nap spends a lot of his time skulking near windows and doors, hoping someone will open them and liberate him from the madness that is our home. He also gives us this LOOK, which is designed for (and quite effective at) maximum guilt.

I keep Grouchy-Ass Squeaky and Beleaguered Capt. Nap separate from My New Very Favorite Pepper Anne (just kidding; I love them all equally, except for Squeaky, who is being a real pain) when I'm not around. I've read tons of stuff on how to introduce cats, and pestered the people at the adoption center with 4,857,973 questions. In addition, I've spent around $78,974 on cat-calming items. Below are just a few:

Jackson Galaxy SPIRIT ESSENCES drops and Feliway COMFORT ZONE spray.
Feliway diffusers for the areas in the house where conflicts are most likely to occur. (AKA, the ENTIRE house.)
As I indicated above, the pictures reveal only a tiny portion of the sprays that litter nearly every surface in the house, plus the diffusers plugged in at potential conflict zones. (Did I mention that conflict zones are, like, everywhere?)

I hope you can at least on some pitying level understand why I've been busy for three weeks. YES, I'm aware that my blog is ancient and hasn't been updated since October. LATE October, though, please note. Keep your fingers crossed for us as we enter the fourth and final week of the trial period. Oh, and Squeaky is up for adoption if anyone's interested. (Just kidding.) (Mostly.)
I'm keeping Wee Squeaky, though. She's MUCH better behaved.