Saturday, June 19, 2010

Photo of the day: The Explorer

This is the adventurer of the litter. The one who wanted to know what was over ever edge, behind every obstacle. While hher littermates where content to be fed and have a nice play, this girl wanted nothing more than to explore. She walked the length of the table, climbed up shoulders and stood on heads, she even jumped onto the counter and tried to make a dash for the door. Luckily we're bigger than she.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Photo of the day: That's How it Goes

Yup, story of the kitten nursery. We do all the work. They get all the naps.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dress Appropriately And Don't Drop the Cat on Its Head

I had a new experience today. I helped train a new cat volunteer.

Usually new cat volunteers are trained by the staff in our behavior department. But for a variety of reasons they asked if I would step in today to give a show a new TLCer the ropes. It was harder than I thought.

There are so many common sense rules that I forget are actually rules that I had to force myself to recite to her. For instance, you shouldn't have to be told (let alone twice) that if there are two cats in a cage and you are only taking one cat out, you need to close the door after your first cat is out or else the other one will escape. No. Really. It will. Close the door. Yes, that's it.

And hold the cat like you've held a cat before. This woman has three of her own and yet when she plucked first kitty out of her cage she seemed to have no idea how to pick it up or hold it. A showed her, but you'd think she'd have had some experience with her own animals.

But for the most part, it went well. I think I covered all of the rules (dress code, where we keep supplies, how to log in and out, how to deal with vet issues, etc.) and she seemed to enjoy the process. I did too, but I'll stick with hanging with the cats....far more fun.

It's just weird how often I find myself shaking my head at the utter lack of common sense some people seem to possess. Things that you can't imagine ever having to be explained have to be spelled out in detail. In the nursery, for instance, I have to keep reminding the Monday crew that you have to wear gloves when handling the kittens, and you have to change gloves between litters. This is rule #1. And yet every week I see them reaching, gloveless, for a cat and have to remind them. Then I see them not changing gloves and moving on to the next litter and having to ask "have you changed gloves?" This should not need to happen more than once. It's hardly like we're overloaded with rules in the nursery, and yet this basic procedure seems to be a hard concept to grasp.

The other thing I've noticed lately is how few people notice how their actions affect others. The best place to witness this is in the grocery store. How often have you seen someone stop their cart in the middle of the aisle and stand there, blocking the way when someone is obviously trying to pass them. It's no more trouble to pull your cart to the side so people can pass but no, they stop in the exact center so there's no going around. Or they'll pause at the end of the aisle, blocking the way in, and you have to politely wait while they pour over the complete ingredient list for bread. Drives me crazy.

Is common sense a dying trait? Or do people just not think anymore? I always think about what I do and how it might get in the way of others. I'm not saying I'm exceptionally considerate, but I do want to minimize my impact on others. It seems like pulling my shopping cart out of the way is an easy thing to do. And basic things like "gee, if there are a whole bunch of kittens in this cage and I only want one I should keep the door closed" really shouldn't take much thought. Sadly, it does.

In other news, were going out to Dim Sum this weekend with friends. Have you ever had the pleasure?

For those unfamiliar, Dim Sum is a type of Chinese food where small portions are served from carts that go around the restaurant. You don't order from a menu. They just wheel things by and ask if you want some. One of the best Dim Sum places in the entire SF Bay Area is within walking distance of our house, and yet Husband has never been. We're really looking forward to it. It's a great experience to go with lots of people because you end up with plates all over the table and find yourself tasting things you can't believe you just ate. Chicken feet? Sure, why not? I mean when else am I going to get the chance to eat chicken feet? And the wonderful thing about Dim Sum is that these small tasting plates mean you don't end up with an entire order of something you hate. You eat one, your friends each eat one and you've had the experience. Then it's on to the next cart and the next bit of mystery. Plus these are some of my favorite people ever, so there will be much laughter and good comradeship. I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seven Years...No Itch

Today marks seven years since Husband and I tied the knot at Ye Olde Wedding(e) Chapel in Lake Tahoe. We'd been together for three and, unlike most couples, it was the man that wanted to marry and the woman that had cold feet. But we were going up anyway and some friends were teasing that we were planning to come back married. We weren't...until they suggested it. So on Friday we decided to get married and on Sunday we did.

We had two guests, our witnesses and dear friends the Foreigner and the DJ. The Foreigner, who is a beautiful and stylish woman, will never forgive me for not telling her that she was going to be in our wedding. She was mortified to have worn jeans to the event. I tried to comfort her by the fact that the bride was wearing jeans, but the Foreigner remained appalled. She still does.

The chapel where we married was right off Highway 50, in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. Highly unromantic. We had our choice of indoor (which featured dark panelling and fake flowers and looked like a funeral parlor) or outside, with the traffic noise and the veritable zoo of plastic animals. We chose outside. Our one and only wedding picture shows us standing under the pine trees, a large plastic deer looking over our shoulders. It's priceless.

We then had the requisite post-wedding margaritas at a Mexican bar and went hiking. Our friends went home, we went to Safeway and bought an ugly sheet cake...because you gotta have cake at a wedding. Then we danced to "our" song ("A Kiss to Build a Dream On," the Louis Armstrong version). And we went to bed. Whereupon the night became a scene out of a Marx Brothers movie as both Husband and I spent what seemed like the entire night trying to get Ninja Fly From Hell to leave us alone. We threw pillows at it. We chased it with rolled up magazines. We tried to spay it with hair spray (hey, it was all we could find at the cabin) and eventually I think it just died of boredom.

Who says romance is dead?

Thanks for a great seven years, Husband. Here's to 70 more.
My New Favorite Website
A parade of cute baby animals courtesy of Zoo Borns. Prepare to squeal.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Photo of the day: Feed Us. Now!

If we aren't careful about binder-clipping the cages closed, the nursery kittens have been known to make a break out. This little Houdini and his brother want to be fed right now, thank you very much.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cool vs. Crotch
Here's today's random rant...

Husband and I tried to watch the Tony Awards tonight. We gave up. Well, I did, anyway, when Catherine Zeta-Jones channelled Nora Desmond while singing "Send in the Clowns." I hate that song, even when it's sung well. When it's sung badly, it defies the Geneva Convention.

Anyway, for reasons I cannot fathom...the band Green Day was part of the opening number. And it made me wonder out loud something that has puzzled me for years.

Why is it jazz bass players look perfectly hip playing their bass while holding it in a normal position while rock musicians think they have to sling it down over their crotch in order to be cool? In reality, they look ridiculous. This Green Day guy....his bass was so low it was actually hitting his knee. It was slung at the absolute limit of his reach and it was so silly looking that I just started laughing. I mean nothing against masturbation, but if that's what you want to be doing -- please don't sling an instrument over your penis and pretend to be playing music, OK?
Photo of the day: Meerkat

One of the most seriously cute animals ever invented.