Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Some bad news, some good news

First of all, I should probably report that Cricket has died. I don't like to talk about it much, because he was such a sweet kitten and it's hard to let him go, even though it's already been two weeks since he died.

This is one of the facts of life for kitten foster parents, it turns out. A huge percentage of kittens who are removed from Mom before 5 weeks of age will die, and the litter I've got came here at probably 3 weeks or so: the fact that 75% are alive and hopping (well, sleeping right now) is quite the feat. The short explanation is that Cricket "failed to thrive." The long explanation is that one day he was gamely trying to keep up with the sibs, the next morning he was sprawled out on the kittens' bed with his head stretched back, trying desperately to breathe. I brought him back to the shelter vet and they had to put him down (I have absolutely no qualms about this, BTW -- he was very obviously in pain as well).

So while I'm sad and grieving, I know enough about raising kittens to know that there wasn't anything I could've done (one of the shelter staff had an almost identical experience just a few days before). If anything, I'm incredibly angry and frustrated at the people who just dumped this lot of kittens on a sidewalk in West Chicago when they were far too young to be away from their momma. I don't understand that kind of person (and yes, there was evidence that the kittens were dumped by a human, not just born on the sidewalk and left).

*Abrupt topic change to cover an otherwise awkward silence*
The other kittens, however, are doing admirably.
Molly's by far the biggest and silliest: she has a tendency to fall asleep upside-down, usually on a pillow or other elevated place, and tumble down halfway through her nap, whereupon she will crack her eyes open, shake her head and fall asleep where she landed.
Merlin is a sweetie and the most likely to seek me out ... and claw his way up to my shoulder to give my ear a good snuffle. He's the smallest now and has yet to win any of the battles royale staged daily in our living room, but that doesn't stop him for a second.
Miri is Little Miss Independent. She's the most likely to dart off somewhere by herself (which gives Molly no choice but to seek Miri out and bite her tail), but just when you're certain all of them are settled down for a nap she'll come up for scritches. She's definitely the smart one -- no competing for Mom's attention for her.

Daffodil is ... becoming resigned to her new life, I'd say. She's got quite the crush going on Michael (her favorite spot to sleep is right on his chest, facing his head while purring away and every so often talking to him). Her days are mostly spent under our bed (which is an Ikea and therefore very low to the ground, so it's pretty funny to see her flatten herself to get under there). She's finally stopped hissing and growling at the kittens and instead just stares with indignation when they approach (Merlin especially just wants to Sit And Worship -- he thinks she's the Cat's Pajamas). Fortunately for us, she's never been the violent type so we're not worried about leaving her alone with them. At this point, I'm more concerned with making sure the kittens give their elder some space!

More about Kermit and the Kittens at a later blog ... this one's getting a bit long for my taste.

Monday, June 18, 2007

We have Features!

... or at least a new gimmick!

Introducing Meesh's Grouse of the Week! This is my attempt to limit the amount of negativity I share with the world by venting in a structured manner.

This week's Grouse:

People who do not understand the concept of "seasonal" food. One does not ask a Michigan farmer for fresh raspberries in May, nor should one expect locally-grown apples in June. It just doesn't happen. The apples are from Chile, people. Are we seriously so separated from our agrarian past that we freak out when strawberries cost twice as much in December as they do in July? This is something I hit my head against every day at work. No, we're out of cherry preserves. Why? Because we've already gone through last year's crop. We're waiting for this year's crop now. Sometimes things aren't available RIGHT NOW.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


It was a bad idea, a few months ago, to check out my Amazon Wishlist for "purchased" items (seriously, it was to make sure I didn't use a gift card to buy something someone had already gotten for me! Makes sense, is responsible, no?).

Because I had one surprise: one gift that has been purchased, but I have never received.

This has been the case for months, and I really, really want that book! (I'm a food geek, I admit it -- Michael was faintly weirded out that my chosen bedtime reading one night was to investigate the differences between baking soda and baking powder. But that stuff's interesting, people!)

So I know, this is my own fault for snooping (snooping with a responsible intent!), but aaarrrrrgggghhh!

Kyle, if this is your fault, you are so totally getting a noogie when I see you in August.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Not Miri's best side

A picture for Michael, away on his video shoot: this is your kitten.

Friday, June 01, 2007

This post is rated TMI

Now that warm weather is here, I have a few fashion complaints.

To wit: I have repeatedly seen grown men waltzing around in shirts that are neither pink nor purple, not even a magenta, fuschia or puce: no, these are a color I believe is called "orchid."

Men, do not wear this color. No one can "rock" this color. It is reminiscent of bridesmaids' dresses.

But to get to the real complaint:

This season's women's clothes feature a cut that is essentially v-neck, with a seam right beneath the breasts. There are variations: sometimes there is shirring, or little pintucks, or it's a surplice top, but those are merely details.

Don't get me wrong -- this is a very flattering cut for just about every figure out there. It looks a little strange on little girls, inasmuch as there are no breasts for the seam to sit under, but hey -- it looks optimistic, and optimism is cute.

No, my problem is with the idiots who make the clothes. More specifically, the person who takes a sample size (usually sizes 2 or 4, increasingly sizes 0 and 2, God help us) and sizes it up to a normal size.

Message to those persons: you cannot just add a few inches all the way around the top and call it a day! No, larger girls are built differently.


Married men have probably heard it already, or near enough as makes no difference.

As a woman's ... aw, hell ... boobs get bigger, the girls, they hang lower. Thus, making the shirt two (or however many) inches wider doesn't help. You end up with this.
OK. Maybe not the thong-flashing part, but you get the seam-right-across-the-nipples bit, which is just so classy this year.

I know I'm not alone in this problem, because seriously over half the women I saw today who were wearing this kind of top (and it's a lot of women out there -- like I said, it's very popular) had that same problem. I wanted to go running around the store, yanking on shirt hems.

In a way, I'm relieved to have seen all that today. I was starting to think that maybe I was deformed, and my boobs hung three inches too low and everybody secretly knew that I was hideous but no one wanted to say anything and maybe that's why everyone gets quiet just when I walk into a room ... no?

In the meantime, designers need to actually try these clothes on size models for every size they make, to double-check that it's a realistic fit. Because seriously, a size 12 does not have tits anywhere near her shoulders.