follow tali on ...

NOV
12

Cat Lady

There's something very socially damning about being a single woman with a cat. I'm not sure why this is. Other than the stereotypical Cat Lady image that has proliferated from the one woman we all know whose house is overrun with them, stinky, hairy, and with a shocking lack of separation between human spaces, dishes, and food and cat spaces, dishes, and food. This lady will inevitably be single, (because who would really want to get with that?) and so there you have it. The Single Woman with a Cat Stereotype Inevitability.

For me, the threshold has always been multiple cats. Sticking to one, I maintain, is just normal pet ownership. Now, I do own cat "things." There's a cat quilt on the back of my chair at work. There's a cat clock on my desk. I have a few cat tank tops I wear to the gym. I hardly think that's Cat Lady territory, but it does show that I like my cat enough to admit that I like having a cat. When I got to work on Halloween, the girl who had dressed up as a Cat Lady (grey curled wig, stuffed cats sewn onto a ratty bathrobe) shouted over to me excitedly, "For you!" I guess because...I'm a Cat Lady?

And perhaps I am. I did admit to her that I liked the pants she was wearing, a rather psychedelic pattern of colorful cat heads, and half-joked that she could give the pants to me after Halloween if she was looking to get rid of them. I had forgotten about this until last week when the pants showed up in an intraoffice envelope on my desk at work. I became immediately embarrassed that I had asked for them (like, to wear for real), but, as you can see from the above picture, really, what's not to love about cats on cats?

Maybe don't answer that.

SEP
05

Cat Lady

How do you know if you are one? If it's loving cats, then I'm definitely a cat lady. If it's owning a cat, again, guilty. I've always preferred to think of it as that fine line between loving/owning cats and letting your house be overrun by them, or forgetting the difference between cats and humans by not acknowledging that there are some boundaries that need to be kept. Cats should eat cat food, for instance. And out of cat bowls. On the floor.

For me, I've always felt like my own cat ladyness hinges on owning multiple cats. So I have drawn the line at one. One cat. But that doesn't mean I'm not tempted when I get a call from a friend whose cat has had 8 kittens. It doesn't mean the little orange tabbies don't remind me so much of my childhood cat that I want to drive off with them both. It doesn't mean I'm not joyously happy in the above picture. It doesn't mean I don't think my friend has a point when reminding me that my current cat won't live forever. But my house is small, our routine is set, and I'd really prefer that my cat be an only child.

Wait. Did I say child? I definitely didn't mean that.

JUL
05

Jazz and the Fireworks

b2ap3_thumbnail_021_20140706-001650_1.JPG

I probably should have been thinking last night about freedom and independence and bombs bursting in air, but mostly I was thinking about my childhood dog, Jazz, (named after the star jasmine flower) and how she used to run and hide in the backyard shed at the first sign of fireworks. I’ve since learned that this fear plagues many other dogs--pretty sure my aunt Leah full-on drugs her bulldog every July 4--but at the time, I thought it was unique to Jazz. I also thought it was kind of adorable. That she would feel somehow safer inside the dilapidated and actually quite frightening shed that none of us kids would be caught dead touching with a ten foot pole.

Animals have been on my mind this week, as I took Clementine to the vet the other day for her yearly appointment. She ended up having to get some blood drawn, and while I was waiting for the doctor to bring her back up front, a woman came in the front door holding a small dog. As soon as this woman shut the door behind her, she started sobbing. “What’s wrong?” another woman asked, to which the sobbing woman replied, “I have to put her down. She has cancer.” The asking woman instinctively reached her arm out and touched the sobbing woman’s shoulder and expressed condolences.

What happened next was one of the most unifyingly human moments I’ve experienced in a long time. Because every single person in that waiting room began to cry. It simply could not be helped. Part of it was this dog, her body so cancer-riddled that she was struggling to breathe. Most of it though was seeing this woman so gutted over the impending loss of her dog. Animal owners ourselves, we understood, and the very idea of having to go through such a loss is never really far from our minds. Jazz herself lost a battle with cancer, and someday, God forbid, Clementine may meet the same fate. When and however it happens, my day with the pink juice will arrive, and when it does, I hope there’s a waiting room full of people to help get me through it. I also hope that Jazz enjoyed the show last night. Wherever she is, it’s surely a much better view.

latest tweets

TaliNayBooks What does society say you should change? Fascinating exhibit at @WMofC. https://t.co/NAlhWw9hHu
TaliNayBooks @vcolotta Happy Bookiversary to you!!
TaliNayBooks A Prairie Home Companion in #SanDiego was pure delight. And I'm not just talking about the Carmen Sandiego rendition. @christhile
TaliNayBooks Proud to be the kind of Savvy Auntie who flies in for This. @SavvyAuntie #otherhood https://t.co/NMlHBhtv8Y
TaliNayBooks Tell me I'm not the only one who's only now discovering this book. #rebecca #octoberbooks #spookyreads https://t.co/vB4eYG9UAL