Kitten Watch Update: May 18-21

Just in case you’re not following along on the socials—aka, The Book of Faces or The Instant Grams—here’s a recap since the last blog post on our Only Cats blog

One quick caveat first: if you’re wondering when we’ll EVER get back to the stuff we used to talk about—the IMPORTANT STUFF like depression, navigating the unexpected wilderness, waving to each other in the dark, and pooping the closet—the answer is NO. WE ARE NEVER GOING BACK. Until, you know, we go back. Eventually. That’s the Official Timeline for a return to Other Topics. It will be Someday in the Indefinite Future. And listen, I know there are shitty, hard things happening in the world right now. Heartbreaking, terrible things. War, pandemic, civil unrest, rampant racism. Things that, on a macro scale, are far, far more important than Two Sweet Foster Kitties. Not to mention the weights we each carry personally—the medical bill we’re not sure we can pay, the unhappy child we don’t know how to help, the relationship trauma—you know. All of It. Shitty, Hard Things. And they will be there waiting. But my heart needed these Sister Mamas more than I can adequately express. Right now, they are joy and solace. A difference I can make on a micro scale…a micro scale that is, to them, the Whole World. So here we are and here we shall be for a while. As always, you’re welcome to join my heart and brain and the weird, wonderful places they take us. ...  read more

All You Need Is A Sister Cat Doula

A LOT HAS BEEN HAPPENING ON THE KITTEN FRONT AND I’M SORRY I’M YELLING BUT A LOT HAS BEEN HAPPENING ON THE KITTEN FRONT.

It’s been a busy, busy 24 hours, friends, and I’d like to do a full, complete recap in case you’ve missed the saga on the Book of Faces or the Instant Grams, but I don’t have the time or the mental capacity…for reasons you will soon understand…so I’m going to post the updates from the socials in chronological order plus a few bonus pics and extras. That way you can catch up, and I can pretend I’ll have time to deep clean my office. ...  read more

If I Could Visit Myself in the Past…

If I could visit myself in the past, I’d have a few things to say. Things Past Me didn’t know. Things Past Me couldn’t tell.

If I could visit myself in the past, I’d tell myself, “Being Thin is not the goal. Being Not Fat isn’t either.” If I could visit myself in the past, I’d tell myself to eat food when I’m hungry. “Eat,” I’d say. “Love eating. Love YOU.” ...  read more

This Is Where All My Words Have Gone

I’m writing to you today because I’ve been neglecting this space, and I miss you, and I want to explain where my words have gone.

Once upon a time, I set out to write a nonfiction book about the myths I once believed and the truths that replaced them. Myths like we’re supposed to strive for balance. And we should put our best foot forward. And motherhood wouldn’t break and remake me. I had an agent from a big New York literary agency. I had publisher interest. And I spent the next seven years Not Writing the Book. Or rather, I wrote the proposal myriad times. Sample chapters. Comp titles. Outline. The entire shebang. But I never finalized it with my agent (who deserves a special award for long suffering) because…I don’t even know…it never felt right?  ...  read more

Henceforth, I shall answer all how-are-you queries using the FT Scale.

Yesterday was my COVID Isolation Anniversary. One year of lockdown. One year of paying attention to toilet paper supplies. One year of stasis and rapid change, of everything-stays-the-same and it’s-all-different. One year during which life has become infinitely more simple and relentlessly more complicated. One year.

Friends check in occasionally. And I check in occasionally with them. How are you? they ask, and I ask them, too, even though I have no answer because how do you access that kind of information? How do you peel those layers? How do you know which crayon color in the box of 64 accurately evokes the color of a heart? The color of a mind? The color of a soul? Which crayon color is frustration? Which crayon color is gratitude? Which crayon color is laying awake at night and staring down invisible monsters? Which crayon color is I Don’t Know What’s for Dinner? Which one is Liberty and Justice for All? Which one is I’m Tired of Isolation? Which one is I Don’t Want to Return to “Normal”? ...  read more

Adrienne the yoga teacher keeps telling me on the YouTube to move into positions “with ease.”

The COVID After Times are like becoming a mother. Never was there ever an experience so common, so universal, and so bewilderingly isolating. Everyone’s doing it. And everyone’s doing it alone. 

When I became a mother, I thought I was becoming part of a club. Part of a whole. Part of a unified conglomerate. So I was mystified when I felt disconnected, instead. Separate. Detached. As if I was forging a path through the jungle, unsure what dangers lurked around me, equipped with a malfunctioning compass that refused to point me toward the village. I knew one was out there. Somewhere. The elusive village where the other mothers laughed as their children played. Where there was sleep and respite because there was someone willing to hold the baby.  ...  read more

Lesson from a Foster Dog (You Is Such a Gud Human… Yes, You Is)

Daisy was the dumbest dog I’ve ever fostered. Bar none. Hands down. Dumb. Est.

Don’t get me wrong; Daisy was also Top 3 for Sweetest Foster Ever. Never did you ever meet a more darling rug. Her eyes and smile could light up a room. But a genius she was not.

We had Daisy for five months because the poor baby needed surgery, and in those five months she never learned to use the dog door. Other dogs showed her how. My kids demonstrated. We used treats and pets and consistent training. We bribed and cajoled. And nothing. She wasn’t afraid. This wasn’t one of the weird hang-ups foster dogs sometimes have. She’d happily go through the hole if we held the flap for her, and she’d sit next to it all day long, cheerfully watching the others go in and out, delighted whenever they reappeared. She was functionally a small child without object permanence; if the flap was down, the outside and anything in it ceased to exist. Every once in a while—SURPRISE!—a friend would pop through like a magic trick, and she’d look at me, astonished and thrilled, like did you see that?And every time, I’d say, “I did, Daisy!” matching her excitement because it was infectious.  ...  read more