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I remember when I was one of a relatively small fringe group of people who actually put some thought into what I’d do if the dead came back to life and started eating the living. I had plans for fortifying my house, where to go if that failed, what my weapon of choice would be, and other assorted details. Anytime I went anywhere, I would note the locations of possible exits and entrances, raw materials for boarding up windows/doors, and surrounding terrain to check for escape routes. Sure, people thought I was weird, but it was fun. And there were just enough other like minded zombacolypse obsessed folks out there that I didn’t feel lonely. More like part of a small, select club but instead of secret handshake, we all knew the only way to put down a zombie was to shoot it in the head.
Nowadays you can’t turn around without running into zombie savvy civilians. While they’re not exactly the new vampire (zombies do NOT sparkle), zombies have taken over publishing, movies, television and pop culture as relentlessly as they’ve overrun farmhouses and malls in George Romero’s films. Even the CDC has gotten into the rotting, shambling spirit of things.
On one hand, this makes me happy as there is a potentially unlimited supply of books and movies for me to enjoy. And no, I don’t think zombies have ‘jumped the shark’ in terms of overstaying their welcome. Diehards like me (pun really not intended, but acknowledged) will never get tired of them as long as at least a percentage of the new material is good. True, there’s a lot of shite out there, but even that can be fun if you’re … well, if you’re kind of weird like me. I hope to add to the list of good books out there with my Ashley Parker series so I’m not in any hurry to see zombies leave the spotlight any time soon.
But I admit I kind of liked being part of that small, select club who knew what I meant when I said, “They’re dead. They’re all messed up.” Or “Shoot ’em in the head. It’s the only way to be sure.”
I’m not entirely sure why a cat up on its hind legs makes it a zombie cat, but I’ll go with it.This picture made me smile because Brian and I used to have a cat named Asmodeus (which was shortened to Asmos, Asmo-Bop and Shmoo, depending on … well, who knows?) who loved his butter pecan ice cream. He didn’t want it out of the bowl, though. No, he had his very own spoon and an enabling daddy who’d sit there patiently and feed Shmoo spoonfuls in between his own bites of ice-cream. Pretty damn cute.
And people say cats don’t have unique personalities…
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Fell is no longer a kitten, but still so adorable I can’t resist putting up her photo for today’s post, which is, btw, the last in my month long “I Will Post Daily!” endeavor. Not that I’m going to stop posting (the whole point of this exercise was to get back into the habit of writing daily and putting regular content on my blog), but I’m not going to be quite as Draconian about posting every day.
We call Fell “Wee Fell” because when she was a kitten, she was a tiny scrap of a thing with huge ears and not much else. She and her brother Fro (short for Frohicke, although we call him Fro, Frodo, Froyo, NO FRO!) were originally fostered by friends of ours and supposed to go to a rescue organization in Marin, but Fell was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia so they ended up coming to our guest room for quarantine until she could be tested again. There are a lot of false positives when kittens are tested too young. Subsequent testing showed she was clear and by this time, lots of feline pattypaw had been played under the door between Fell and Fro, and our cats. When quarantine was lifted, the two immediately integrated into the horde without any fuss or fighting. So… now Wee Fell (not so wee but just as cute) and Fro (the underwear thief I’ve written about in earlier posts) are part of the family.
Have you ever been working on a story or book and known exactly what it is you need/want to happen in the scene you’re writing, written a sentence that sparked some random thought that then spirals off into a digression about the background of a minor character that suddenly decides he/she wants more page time?
And wow, how about that run-on sentence?
Seriously, though, I was working on my current novel FIXATION (shapeshifting jaguars, Olmec deities and other goodies) and all I had to do was get my heroine through a garage to her little cottage in the backyard of an old SF house. Simple, right?
Well, theoretically, yes. But my mind started off on a tangent involving the contents of the garage, the heroine’s landlord, dumpster diving and art. Yeah, I know… WTF? I have 200 pages (the standard length of a Ravenous Romance novel) to play with and lots of action and sex to get in this book. And yet my brain insists that I need this extra bit of information about a character who, before I had my heroine enter the garage, was never going to actually get any “screen time.”
Now, however? He’s looking to feature fairly heavily in the plot, all because I started wondering what this guy would have in his garage.
My mind works in mysterious ways.
And yes, I’m talking about my cats. Would a human child systematically pry open my lingerie drawer and pull out my bras and assorted frilly undergarments and drag them around the house?
But would this same child also … well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
While at work on Thursday I kept smelling the sadly familiar smell of cat whiz. I checked my jeans, shirt and shoes, all of which came up clean. The same thing happened Friday morning and I did the same check, just in case I missed something Thursday. Again, couldn’t find a source.
Great. Instead of hearing voices, I’m smelling phantom pee.
I had a yoga class Friday at noon. No cat pee smell during class. When I changed back into my street clothes, however, I noticed a suspicious odor wafting from my bra (the same one I wore the day before) and took a good whiff. Yup, one of my vile little felines had marked my bra.
Still not as horrible as the Russian Pee Cookie tale of terror, but I’m here to tell you if they weren’t so damn cute and affectionate…
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At least with the Mesoamerican kittens currently occupying our guest room. Mind you, we’ve had kittens who like nothing better than to curl up with us when we lie down, content to find a warm spot under a chin, against the curve of an armpit or crook of an elbow, or nestled in my hair, and just purr. Haggis and company (the litter by which all kittens are held in measurement) would cling to us for hours like little cockleburrs when we sat on the couch. I used to call them our little lapel pins before they grew too big to cling without ripping fabric.
But Aztec, Toltec, Olmec and Maya?
Not so much.
Oh, they are adorable and sweet. They love it when human company enters their room. Evaki (momcat) starts purring almost immediately when she sees us. But if I lie down, curling up and napping with me is not on the agenda. They can be sound asleep when I come in (their favorite new perch is the lowest tier on the cat tree) and will stare at me sleepily, doing that adorable kitten blinking and yawning for a few minutes while I settle myself comfortably on the futon. I’ll burrow under the quilt and settle myself for a nap.
And then they wake up, one at a time, and decide to come explore the new object (me) in the room. I’ll have my eyes shut and hear the ominous sound of kitten paws skittering across the hardwood floor. I know something is looking at me; I can feel the heat of its stare through my closed eyelids. Opening my eyes, I’m confronted with the wide, slightly
sociopathic stare that only a kitten can manifest (and still look adorable) as Maya, now nose to nose with me, raises one paw … “Ooh! Those fringe things–” my eyelashes –“they move! Must. Swat!”
I try hiding under the quilt, but she just wriggles her way underneath and finds new things to attack, such as the string on my pajama bottoms, my hand and fingers, my elbow, my hair, my neck, my chin…
And then her three brothers join her in a leaping, nibbling, swatting, springing, skittering display of feline acrobatics that is truly impressive, even if I am being used as a combination trampoline, springboard and protective cover. Lots of places to crouch and hide behind, including more burrowing under the quilts. They’re like little feline jumping spiders.
Evaki, in the meantime, generally comes up next to me for some love. Her expression suggests she really appreciates me giving her a break from her off-springs’ manic attention.
The payoff (aside from the fact watching their antics is better than television) is when they wear themselves out, falling asleep in exhausted kitten piles wherever they’ve happened to collapse, little purring bundles of love. I may be tired a lot these days, but I never get tired of the experience.