Blog edited by: Lindsay Wright
I had a long day on Tuesday. A long and frustrating day. I was dizzy, dehydrated, tired, and in pain. I lay on the kitchen floor with a bunch of groceries that needed to be put away. They wouldn’t have made it to the fridge and cabinets had my friend not been around. I was still exhausted and frustrated when I spotted a spider that I had never seen before. It must have been mutant. Maybe it was a space spider! I screamed and shouted for my friend to do something to get it away from me. They took it outside. I was in no state to calmly take care of my fears. Somebody (or somebodies) sensed my anxiety though, because before I knew it, I had two cats running to comfort me. I picked up Ziggy, a big, orange, fluffy cat and I cried. A spider was the last thing I needed that day. I resumed my position on the kitchen floor for about 20 minutes. This time with Gnocchi, a kitten, on my belly. They know when I need help. They choose whether to be an asshole about it or to comfort me, but they always know when something is wrong.
This blog’s title might make you think that I am going to have a long list of complaints about my cat children. The introduction would prove that to be incorrect… but would it? I love my babies, but I have to tell all of you, cat parenting isn’t easy. These cats are a pain in my ass! We have a long and hopefully hilarious blog (because of my misery) ahead of us, so let’s go.
First some proper introductions…
Ziggy is my step child. He comes with the marriage! He weighs 9 pounds and 3 ounces, 3 pounds of which are likely fur. He is the first cat I have ever had the honor of living with and I love him. His anxiety is horrible though. How many meows can you possibly scream in one hour, Ziggy? We feed you, we give you water, we play music when we aren’t home, you get treats, shiny twirled ribbon, unlimited pets, and more. What else can we do for you, your majesty? In all seriousness, Ziggy was a street cat. He used to only eat when someone was watching his back. My fiancée, Lindsay, got him in 2017 because of her mental health. They were a perfect fit. Cat helps human and human helps cat! Ziggy has come a long way and he isn’t scared of the sound of a fart anymore, so that means a lot. He apparently hid under the bed all day after Lindsay farted the first day they got home. I don’t know what kind of sound that was, but it sure was scary to Ziggy!
My friend Zoe says “you live with her. you know what it sounds like. It sounds like a trumpet! A didgeridoo!!”
Me: “how do you even spell that?”
Zoe: “With google. But she does that whole finger gun thing, so you know that she farted. The hammer drops and the horn bellows. Meow, meow, meow, meow! I’m sorry. I don’t want to eat you, but I do because you are so scrumptious.”
Zoe was talking to Gnocchi… drunk and pretending to eat him with meows.
Gnocchi was born on May 25th. I got him at a “Kitten Karnival” in Ithaca when he was one day short of two months old. He is now about 3 months old. He is black and white. He has spots on his face and paws and it is SO CUTE.
Gnocchi might be adorable… but he is a menace. Ziggy was afraid of the kitten for a long time. He hates other animals, although he is fine with Gnocchi now (most of the time). Ziggy is an extremely anxious beanie baby. He was on anxiety medication for about two weeks before we ran out of it and he was much more relaxed with having a new and unpredictable lifeform in the household. Kittens apparently do not follow the same social rules that adult cats have, so cats can be scared because of that as well.
Here is a little list of things that the kids do that is a pain in my booty: get ready for the ride.
Gnocchi sits on the toilet seat. We have to close the lid now because… ew. He was caught trying to go inside the toilet not once, but TWICE. I have to give him many baths because of how smelly he can get. I sanitized the entire bathroom because of Gnocchi’s interest in it. He is a strange little baby that gets himself into gross places. The good thing is that he is kind of like an automated duster. I used to find him with dust on his head every day. Now, things are much cleaner. Took a long time to get it that way, but it’s important to have the smallest amount of dust at home. The dust could be bad for both of their noses and eyes.
Next on the list: Gnocchi sometimes plays in the litterbox. Why? I don’t understand his reasoning. Is it a logical decision to play there for stinky strategy or is it nonsensical because he is a kitten? Is it because I am taking too long in the bathroom and you need to entertain yourself while you wait for me to be done? Hey, I take a while, but the litter isn’t a box of Legos.
Gnocchi will attack any moving thing unless he is sleeping. He is always on the hunt and wiggly toes are his prey. He will want to play with Ziggy when Ziggy just wants to be left alone. Ziggy is very resentful of the kitten and tolerates him. Just the way an older brother would in the early days.
When Gnocchi first arrived and I set up the living room to be his “base camp”, following the Jackson Galaxy method of introducing cats, Ziggy didn’t obey the rules. The gate wasn’t effective because the kitten could slide right through. Because of this, I made my own type of gate that worked.
The gate was great and I thought I was so smart.
Until ZIGGY figured out how to jump over it. Now we all know that this fully-grown adult cat is afraid of his own shadow. As a frightened beanie baby, he would jump into the living room, find Gnocchi, hiss at him, and run out of there as fast as he could. This happened multiple times a day. Ziggy also tried clawing his way upstairs to where other people live because he was so scared of this kitten.
One day I decided to give the cats some chicken after a long bath. I put the chicken in the microwave just to make it warm as a better treat and it almost exploded after 4 seconds. Bizarre! Well, there was another bizarre thing I didn’t know was about to happen. I put the plate on the floor and let them have the treat. They are both eating happily. I look away for five seconds and put the rest of the chicken in the fridge. I turn around and Ziggy was shooed away to the corner of the kitchen while Gnocchi is licking the plate clean. I provided more microwaved chicken and monitored every second of the snack time. I let Gnocchi eat a quarter of it and then picked him up to let Ziggy eat the nom noms.
Regarding food, we have a problem. Gnocchi will stare at my oatmeal and when I give him a little bit of his own, he will eat some and then try to stick his paw in my portion anyway. He stuck his paw in my soup, my oatmeal, my fish sticks, my green beans, my cereal, and so many more things. It drives me crazy. Get your dirty paws away from my food, you fool!
Gnocchi will decide that it’s a great idea to try to examine the open oven while I am trying to put something in it or take something out of it and I yell at him for his safety, “NO!! NONONONONONONONO!!” This cat gives me more anxiety sometimes. It balances out because of the snuggles, of course. This kitten also tries to crawl into the dishwasher… Never leave that thing open. When he was smaller, he would crawl into the recliner and I told anyone in the living room this: “make sure you know where that cat is before you recline this thing!”
He also loved crawling underneath the dishwasher and freaking us out. There is no way to retrieve a cat underneath that thing. There is also the electronic organ. He loved going in the hole where a bigger pedal was and getting lost in there. Of course, I blocked it off. There was kitten proofing to be done all over the place!
Let’s discuss general cat things. I performed an experiment one day. I put some water in the bathtub and I put catnip in it. Turns out they hate water more than they like catnip. Won’t stop them from getting baths though…
Gnocchi is obsessed with the outside pieces of corn. He picks it up and runs away with it. Last night, I woke up to both cats hovering over an object that Gnocchi was also chewing on. I picked it up and it was all slimy!! It was a yucky, chewed up piece of corn leaf, if that’s what you call it.
Gnocchi can be very well entertained by a noodle for a half an hour. I was baking linguini. I put a noodle in my mouth. I went up close to Gnocchi’s face and I slurped it into my mouth. Gnocchi’s eyes grew bigger as he was enthralled by my magical actions. I gave him his own noodle and it provided him entertainment for a while. Play with your food, everyone!
Gnocchi stairs at me while I’m in the shower. He might be silently freaking out. “How could this human willingly douse themself in huge amounts of water every day?” He will also go in between the two shower curtains and chill out on the side of the bathtub wherever he wants to. He loves see-through things.
I don’t know why, but Gnocchi is the kind of cat that constantly wants his butt in my face. We are snuggled up in bed or on the couch and he moves around to make his butt end up in my face. I reposition him because I don’t want butts in my face. Cats fart too, you know. So, ten minutes later there is somehow a butt in my face again. Every time.
Ziggy meows all of the time. He has been much better about it because he is less lonely with the kitten around (he might rather be lonely than have a brother though). One funny thing is that every couple of days when I don’t get up in time to feed the cats, Ziggy would most likely come up to me and let out a big, long, deep meow that tells me “YOOO! Give me some food, bitch”.
The cats both sit by my head every morning. Lindsay is right next to me in bed, but she snores and I think that’s why they don’t snuggle her as much. Loud snoring might not be their favorite thing to sleep next to. It occasionally sounds like a chainsaw. You can guess whether I am over-exaggerating or not.
Gnocchi has decided that the top of a hat of mine is now his toy. I don’t argue with him about it. It’s his favorite toy and I don’t think he will ever get tired of it. It’s a puff ball to the top of a winter hat that fell off and I never ended up sewing it back on.
Ziggy once caught a mouse. I was so proud of him. Until he let it go. He caught it again. I was proud. Then he let it go. One more time… let it go. He never found it after that. I was so proud and then disappointed in his fooling around. One thing that made me really happy was that Ziggy was following a centipede. I am terrified of spiders and centipedes/millipedes. I didn’t have my glasses on, but I noticed Ziggy was hunting a tiny object. He was moving, so the object must have been moving. I then screamed for Lindsay after a closer look and she saved us. Without Ziggy, that insect would have been lose in out home doing who knows what! Thanks, Ziggy!
Ziggy will let me brush him for about 3 minutes before he decides that the brush is his enemy. He enjoys being brushed for a little bit. He just doesn’t enjoy it for too long. I only get half of his body and he looks nicely brushed on one side, but there is an enormous mess on the other. Ziggy is only 5 years old, yet he acts like a grumpy old man. He must be in a teenage stage of his life. He wants to rebel. If you don’t brush Ziggy, good luck vacuuming. It is a nightmare. Brush your fluffy cats every single day. It matters if you want to breathe. Gnocchi is a short-haired cat, but still must be brushed! He will think that I am trying to kill him with bristles and does everything in his power to fight off the beast that is the brush. The brush beast. Teeth, claws, rolling over in millions of directions and trying to eat the brush. He does it all. The cats follow me almost everywhere. When Ziggy goes to the kitchen with me, he will sometimes find a pile that I just swept all of the dirty stuff from the kitchen floor into, and lie down in it. I just don’t understand these cats. They are so dirty! Ziggy knows how to clean himself for the most part, but why make it harder for yourself, Ziggy?
Gnocchi will follow me to the bathroom just like Ziggy used to (he is annoyed by Gnocchi and doesn’t want to be his toy, so he does his own thing a lot of the time now). Gnocchi will hear that I am scooping the litter box and will sometimes lie down in the pellets as if to protest.
“DO NOT SCOOP.
FREE THE POOP.
I LIE HERE LIKE JELLY,
CAUSE I WANNA BE SMELLY.”
When I took him out of the litter box one night, he stepped into the other one and laid a really stinky one. He clearly had something to say about me taking away his… presents?
Well, I had to get a wet wipe that night because he did not clean himself between going in that litter box and going on the BED.
THAT. HO. GONNA. PAY.
I got a wet wipe and got him back. I just bathed him a couple days prior and it was late, so wet wipe it was. I wet wiped him so well as he tried to squirm out of my hands. HA. I WIN. Mwahahaha!!!! I could see his fur look wet and semi-soapy. I was surprised how much power that one wet wipe had. Wet wipes rule. I just wish they were better for the environment.
Alright. I have something more serious to talk about before I leave you with nonsensical cat stories. Yesterday, September 4th, I went to the review of my testing for whenever I was on the Autism spectrum or not. It turns out that because of my underdeveloped lungs at birth, I have “Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy”. Apparently, this means that the lack of oxygen to my brain in infancy caused lifelong problems. I never thought I would get an answer like that and the doctor told me that I might not ever be able to have gainful employment. At least not in the way that most people have it. There is essentially nothing usual about me. Transgender, pansexual, developmentally delayed, ADHD, whatever that new thing is called, ALL of my other medical problems, sensory issues, daily social mishaps, and frustration from trying to be successful and constantly failing. More about that in my next blog, I have some serious thinking to do.
At least I have my kids. They give me fucking hell every day, but I wouldn’t ask for anything less than that. Lindsay and Demetrious. Going to be the best parents in all of history. You watch us go.
Demetrious McMullen is currently a college student. They are taking online courses at Westchester Community College for now, but the future is a slight mystery with many directions to take. They are a human services major now, but used to be a theatre major until taking classes online.Demetrious is a vocalist and pianist. They also play baritone ukulele, guitar, violin, xylophone, djembe, hand percussion, and more! Demetrious is also an actor, photographer, and painter. Demetrious is a caregiver and loves to teach. They want to be a special education teacher one day, and at some point, perform the arts they love to do. They want to combine their knowledge from music, theatre, caregiving, and human services to become the ULTIMATE teacher for the young students with special needs in this world.Demetrious is part of the LGBTQ community. They are Pansexual and Trans-male/Androgynous and uses pronouns they/them or he/him. Demetrious is chronically ill and two of their most debilitating conditions are Ankylosing Spondylitis and Asthma. They only listed those two, because they don’t want you to be reading this all dayDemetrious lives with their chronic illness every day and it is tough, but giving up is not an option. Chronic illness will not win! Demetrious’ plan is to break stereotypes and exist freely. Let’s break the gender binary, tell ALL of the stories, and shut down fallacies about people with disabilities!