naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Things are evening out -- the kind-of-awful thing is that this doesn't affect us day-to-day much at all, because we didn't see his parents more than a few times a year.

It's still a Thing to deal with, and I feel frustrated and awkward a lot, because there's nothing I can really offer to anyone in the way of fixing it.  So I try to stay out of the way, mostly, and try to be available to the extent that it won't tear down what stability I've built.

So I sit here and work on a pony as a surprise for my girlfriend, using pearl paint my mother gave me at least fifteen years ago, and which is still good.  There's some sort of lesson there, but I've really lost my taste for that kind of thing.  I'm tired of learning, I'm tired of trying to spin gold from the straw I'm left to bed down in, I'm tired of every year being a hard year, and more tired of every year being a hard year for people that I love.

I don't want lessons.  I want magic.

And I have that, in some measure, which is why I won't spit on last year despite the general suckery of it.  It put me back on the map as a human being, and I'm grateful for that, even though everything is a mass of tingling pain because I'm like a sleeping limb coming awake, only inside.  And all over.

The pony Patreon proceeds apace.  I'm proud of myself.  Really, truly proud.  I'm doing so well.  Not just in terms of donations, though that's pretty amazing, but in terms of what I've been able to do.  I've worked on pony stuff nearly every night for at least a little while, and even when I have off days -- like today, dear god, I can't handle a brush to save my life -- I usually have something to show for it.

Thanks to a very, very generous donation, The Actual Bear and I were able to order thirty hanks of hair.  THIRTY.  Add in the three freebies that the nice folks at Dollyhair.com threw in, and that's 33 hanks, all but five of which are colors I didn't already have.

Here's what that looks like:



And I think Smooch speaks for us all when he says *snort* *schlurp* *grunt*:



Thank you, Elizabeth.  We are very, very grateful.  This will give us a great jump start on restocking my art supplies.

I hope this year brings better for all of us, and inflicts the awfulness we've all had to endure on those who truly deserve it.

Smooch!

Nov. 17th, 2014 11:22 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Poor guy had a rough day.

I took him to the vet because he has another eye infection.  They checked his eye for ulcers, seems clear, though it's still possible he has feline ocular herpes that acts up occasionally and causes grossness.  That sucks, but isn't scary.  So we medicate and be patient and see how he does.

Thank you to everyone who donated recently to help with his vet bills.  I turned down a couple of things that didn't seem likely to help much, but was still able to get what needed to be done done and catch both boys up on their Banfield plans.

I need to buy some Advantage -- there might have been flea dirt on him, which given the number of strays around my girlfriend's place isn't surprising -- but that will have to wait for next month.  (Our last vet, the really good one, gave us the tip to get the stuff for big dogs, making sure it's the one same ingredient with none of the extra tick stuff, and then splitting it with a syringe for multiple cats.  So that saves money and works a treat.)

Thank you.  I could have done this, but it would have left me with literally nothing, and I wasn't not going to do it, since it's been apparent that it's uncomfortable for him.  I love my guy.  He's frustrating and aggravating and sometimes I just wish he'd be less needy, but he's a sweet boy, and he loves me, and I want to try to be what he needs me to be.

I'm not feeling great on the cat care front, lately.  I've been absent and scattered and cranky and sometimes in pain and it just . . . I haven't been giving him attention the way I should be.

I hate the way that this bullshit mental illness and the associated poverty and stress fucks up literally every part of my life.  Sigh.

Y'all are lovely, though.

Patreon coming soon, I hope, but in the meantime, The Graveyard of Empires is a good way to support us.  We're at 35% and that's doing pretty good!  I'd like to top 40% or even 50% by the end of this week.

naamah_darling: Picture of a treasure chest with a skull and crossbones on top. My art! (Artistic)
Wow, so. I had a whole post written, and it got et. We made goal on The Shadow Princess, which is awesome. I didn't think we would make it this time, and we did, and I want to thank everyone who donated or signal-boosted or otherwise helped out with good vibes/goat sacrifices/etc. Thank you.

Smooch has been to the vet having Grand Adventures. First, to get an opinion on his stinky breath and possible tooth infection, then to get his teeth cleaned. No tooth infection, just a nasty eyesocket. So he's good. Although he was really stoned when we brought him home, and was tiptoe-tail-rubbing all over everything, looking just as pleased as can be to be home. He didn't care about his brother. Just the vacuum cleaner, wall, couch, table, chairs, etc. Then he peed on himself and slept for like twelve hours off and on.

It was . . . well, you know, it seemed to be a really good day for him, based on his rolling around and purring and hugging me every chance he got, but I had less fun. I had to wash pee off my already smelly cat, and I slept badly because I was worried about him being away from home. Anyway, he's on a Banfield plan now and has free office visits. I've already saved a shitton of money, since the tooth cleaning and a bunch of his bloodwork is free on the plan.

I went to the vet, too, for reasons about which the less said, the better, and while it's not serious, it's still stressing me out and making me really sad to have to deal with. So I appreciate y'all's forbearance while I try to deal with this. I'm not going to be tremendously accessible. Between this and the general depression-fueled inactivity, I've been accomplishing very little that could be called "constructive."

The best news I have besides making goal is that I've managed to clean my room pretty thoroughly, so for the first time since I moved in, it's not embarrassing. I'm rather pleased with myself for that.
naamah_darling: Really rough-looking long-haired guy with the hilt of a sword sticking up over his shoulder.  Distressingly frank stare. (The Baron)
I don't make resolutions. I don't even really consider it an important occasion, except most everyone else does, so that naturally causes me to stop and reflect on how things have gone for me.

I accomplished woefully little this year. I have nothing but the mental illness and my own lack of resilience to blame. I've just been so . . . flat. I can keep myself on a more or less stable emotional keel, but that eats up any productivity I might otherwise have. I spend more time on obligations than personal projects, but lacking those obligations I might do nothing, so who can say?

Last year was shitty in many ways, really shitty, but it also contained some unexpectedly wonderful stuff, and my life now is most assuredly better than it was in January of last year. I'm still not feeling optimistic, but perhaps that will come in time.

I just want to be able to . . . to do things again. To have the energy, mental and physical, to work at things. I'm bored so much of the time, and, being an introvert, there's only so much that other people can help. And, lately, I've spent a lot of time in low-level pain from minor health problems I really don't want to discuss.

But to focus on the positive, I made three really cool things in 2013: the Barsoomian Chess Set, which was featured on Propnomicon; MLP custom "Serenity"; and the steampunk pirate ponies Phantom and Ember Blacklock

I launched Silver Into Steel, the srs blog. Admittedly seldom-updated, but I'm going to work on that, too.

And, the huge one: I was approved for disability. My government is still shitty and thinks that I should be able to live on what doesn't even cover my house payment, but at least I have health coverage via Medicaid now.

Christmas was lovely. I'll post more about that later.

I've been playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and having enormous fun pirating everything in sight. It's still not Ezio, and I've just had to resign myself to the fact that none of the other games will match that arc. That storyline started out so perfectly, establishing this woman-chasing fist-fighting ne'er-do-well and his loving family and then ripping all of it to miserable shreds, and that propelled me through three games. After that first part of ACII, you fucking hate the Templars. And you actually got to see the character grow and change. Become more competent. More responsible. And finally, much wiser. He was an excellent character.

Edward from AC IV is all right -- he looks sort of like the bastard pirate lovechild of Charlie Hunnam and Chris Hemsworth, he has tattoos and a smart mouth -- but I'm a quarter of the way in and there's no emotional core to the game so far, and that's hurting it. They're trying to lean on the "FREEDOM" angle -- and I really wish they would do more with Adéwalé, because he is really cool and I love that they write him with this subtle tolerant contempt for white people's shit -- but it's not coming together for me. It's still a gorgeous game, and I like it very much, even if the jaguars are fucking murderous little shits.

In other news, I started playing the Baron again last week, and it's been fantastic having him around again. He still makes obscenely good die rolls, and he now has an apprentice that the dice apparently like just as much as him. She's tiny and cute and he just wants to play hide and sneak with her all day. He finds her utterly delightful, and it's like watching a big old wolf play with a kitten. Apparently he was missing that, and didn't know it. Nearly all the other women in his life are sharp or hard or prickly or just flatly practical and no-bullshit -- or they're horses -- and he loves those things about them . . . those are not flaws. The one girl who isn't like that -- his mistress -- is extremely sweet, and he loves her to pieces, but she has no sharp edges. She's the gentlest creature in his life, and he needs that so very badly, but . . . he also needed someone with a bit of both, I think. Someone with whom he shares the same background of murderstab training. Someone he can feel protective of for legitimate reasons, but who really doesn't need much protecting. Someone crap at hiding her feelings, because he has a terrible time dealing with it when people do that.

Eh. Enough about people you've never met.

In other news, I have found the softest thing in the house and it is the fur at the tenderest part of Etrigan's throat, way back under his chin. It's so soft I can barely feel it, like mole fur or bat fur. He has become an excellent cuddler. Not an in-the-lap cuddler, a pick-up-and-snuggle cuddler, not like Tazendra, but a lying-beside sleepytimes cuddler. He lays where Tazendra used to and lets me curl my arms around him -- he is so much bigger, nearly twice as big -- and lays where he can feel my breath on his face, which means his face is usually adorably close to mine so I can just look at him. I can tell he misses Fish, so sometimes I stick my finger in his ear and rub it around -- she used to groom his ears and he loved that, but I'm not going to lick him anywhere, thanks. He loves it. He doesn't even flick his ear, he just purrs harder and rolls so I can do the other one. Today he snuggled up with me and put the top of his flat, empty little head against my mouth so I could just kiss and kiss him without stopping. Behavior-wise he is barely a cat at all, and is frequently so annoying it boggles the mind. And yet I love him like a very stupid but enthusiastically cheerful little brother.

I love Smooch, too, but he's a tough nut to crack. We have a respectful cat/human relationship based on me fulfilling his every desire and him being very grateful for my services, but mostly ignoring my needs. He's tender, emotionally, rebuffs easily, stews and sulks sometimes. He has moods, like weather. Etrigan's emotional core is rubber or Teflon. Nothing gets him down for long. They are very different. I love them both. Etrigan is turning out to be the really comforting one, for all that he's a fucking asshole most of the time.

I need to go to sleep. I hope the next year is less painful than this one for everybody. I hope you find and do and make and learn fun and interesting new things. I hope things improve. For all of us. I really do.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
A couple folks asked how the cats are doing. Fish and Sif are all right, just bitchy and crazy, respectively. Sif doesn't do much, and Fish mostly skulks and poops on the floor, so, nothing terribly photogenic going on there.

You get the boys today.

Etrigan first, because he's an asshole. (He actually answers to "Asshole". The folks at the vet find this amusing.)

Etrigan and Bunnsley 1
Pictures of a black panther kitty go here. )
Next, Smooch! He's still funny-looking.

Yeti-cat. )

Sometimes he comes awake from a dead sleep with a startled sort of yawp, or a spit. He has nightmares, poor dude. I don't know what about, but they bother him, and sometimes he cries afterward and I have to put everything down and run over and comfort him, because Jesus Christ, a sad Yeti is the saddest fucking thing you ever saw.

YETI CHOMP

Sometimes he decides he wants to nibble my fingers. The inside of his mouth is seriously fucked up.

Anyway, there you go. Cat pics for a Wednesday.

Kittehs!

Sep. 15th, 2012 07:32 pm
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
In some lighter news, Etrigan and Smooch have been given a shoutout on Wayofcats.com.



It's a short piece about cats that found homes despite being . . . different.

Every cat has something to give.

It is always sad to me when people only value cats as kittens; and then, only value them for cuteness. That is something they all have, and does not acknowledge the specialness of each cat’s personality.

. . .

Smooch and Etrigan: a mismatch made in heaven

This is Smooch (top) and Etrigan (bottom.) In a classic Way of Cats move, these two foster brothers were adopted together, because the person had decided to try my “two cats are better than one” approach.

It is working very well!

Smooch has facial deformities and one eye, while Etrigan, who seemed fine at the time, turns out to have allergy-triggered asthma. That could have made them “unadoptable.”

And look at the treasures that would have been unspent.

Instead, they are enjoying a wonderful home, and each other, as the picture aptly illustrates.

. . .

Sometimes, they are cats with a physical challenge. Sometimes, they are too old, or too young, or have an unpopular coat color, or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But as I explained in a previous post, we don’t necessarily have to value what our society values.

Because society is, so often, wrong about what we should value. When we fall for letting others decide what we are supposed to want to do…

We will miss out on a lot of magic.


I bolded that last bit because it's sort of true about . . . everything.

I want to throw a shoutout to Pammy as well. Way of Cats is a really, really helpful blog, she has been incredibly generous with advice about these two dopey jerks, and she has been right every time. I am very grateful to her for her help. So if you are a cat person and want to understand your friends better than you do, go and spend some time there, and maybe invest in her ebooks!
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
We brought the boys home one year ago today! To celebrate, and also give me something nice to think about, here is a massive picspam, beginning with some pictures of them at their most beautiful. More under the cut.

Smooch Face 01

Etrigan Fishing 4

Oh, yeah, you need to see these. )

Those are my boys.

Thank you for helping me when I've needed help for them. They are my friends, and I need them in my life. Even if one's an asshole and one is really smelly and they are both being annoying today.

I emailed their foster parent and the shelter I got them from, and let them know that I am very grateful for my boys and their continued presence in my life. They were a wonderful decision.
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
Love Affair

You can't really see it there, but he had his chin on her shoulder, and a few seconds after this he turned and pressed his face between her shoulders and just sat there, adoring her.

He really really loves her and she wants nothing to do with him. It's pathetic, and I feel awful for both of them, because he's being rebuffed and having his smelly little feelings hurt, and she's missing out on a fantastic snuggle. It is still hilarious.

Anyway. I just wanted to drop a note here and say that I'm terribly sorry, but I'm not taking commissions right now. Several of you have asked, several of you that I adore, but it's not something I can cope with. I think it would be a really bad idea. As I said to another friend this morning, I'd rather "I am crazy" be my reason for declining a commission than my excuse for being late.

I feel like an asshole and an idiot because we really, really need the money, but I know it's the smart thing to do, spoons-wise.

I also wanted to say that I'm sorry I haven't been writing here more. To be honest, when things get persistently sucky and frustrating, there's really no point in writing about it, because it's the same every single day. I'm not in a scary place, not too much, but I'm feeling cramped and trapped and sometimes I'm a bit of a mess about it, and I am having to quell my urge to talk about it too often. There's only so much repetition I can take. My other favorite topics -- outrageous human stupidity, repressive political fuckery, my god some people are assholes -- are all just sore from being kicked so often. Between the laws being passed against women and the ludicrously unconstitutional strip-search ruling by the Supreme Court and the whole Trayvon Martin thing and the FIVE hate-crime shootings here in my hometown -- and three deaths, I'm so beaten down and sad that I find it hard to muster any rage.

There is a body image thing I want to post, but I have to wait until I can cope with the raft of comments, and it's so intensely personal that it's actually uncomfortable to contemplate posting and I just . . . don't know.

I want to write more, do more, interact more. I feel like I only post here when I have something Really Important to say, and that's silly. This is my room, I can do what I like in here. But I still feel this urge to perform, or to post only Long Things of Great Importance. So if there's something you want to ask me, fuck it, ask me. I'd like a reason to post more, stuff that was shorter, or not as serious.
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
A rhyme for you on this cold winter night:

smoochmallow

When singing songs of ugliness,
Of smelliness and snuggliness,
I feel obligated at this moment to remind you
Of the most appalling beast I know:
With breath like chum and goblin roe
The sweaty yeti Smooch-mallow
Who's standing right behind you.

(Apologies to Shel Silverstein.)
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
Just a few pics which will hopefully make you laugh and brighten your day.

Smooch Blue Towel

He was asleep here, so this is not quite the face he makes when he's smiling, but it's pretty close. I get to see this every day. He is so silly-looking.

Funny guy. )

I just thought I would share. He makes me happy, so I thought I would let you laugh at him today like I get to laugh at him every day. He is such a serious little dude.

I really need to write a post about Etrigan and what a train wreck of a cat he is. Oh my god. I just don't have pictures to document this because, frankly, I don't want to take them, and they would be too disgusting to post anyway.

So tasty!

Jan. 29th, 2012 10:10 pm
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
So I'm making this shrunken head for my dad's birthday, mostly made of Sculpey over a baby doll head.

Last night we had people over to watch a movie, and there was food on the table. The not-quite-complete and not-yet-baked head was on the table too, because I forgot to move it. The cats kept getting up into the food, but didn't do any real damage. So we thought.

This afternoon, Sargon pointed out that someone had taste-tested the shrunken head. And, indeed, it looks like somebody nibbled politely at the left ear. Not, like, enough to even swallow, just an experimental bite. Just, you know, in case it was not actually Sculpey, but some sort of meat-flavored marzipan.

From the tooth pattern, it could only have been Smooch.

Also, I have to say, if it had been Etrigan, it would have been a much larger bite.
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
Thank you, everyone, for your orders and for your donations. Thank you. I think I have enough to cover the immediate medical stuff, as long as the tooth thing isn't too expensive. I've got an appointment for Tuesday and I will let you know how it goes. Thank you, too, to everyone who could only leave well-wishes. There's never any need to apologize for not being able to help out with money. Obviously I know how that is.

As a thank you, I have something for you.

Yeti-cat picture dump!

Tazendra always liked weird food. It makes me feel better to learn some of Smooch's weird food preferences. Like potato chips. OMFG. He loves chips.

Chips 1

He doesn't actually eat them, he just carries them around and licks them a bit, then leaves them on the floor, sticky.

Chips 2

He -- I am pretty sure he was the culprit -- also carried a terrible-tasting Play-Doh smelling knockoff Oreo cookie off the table and left it near the litter box. A commentary on the taste, no doubt, which was pretty unbelievably awful.

Click for more furry funny-faced kitty goodness! )

He's just so funny-looking. Funny guy. Funny smelly guy.

There. Something happy and cute and fuzzy to get you through Sunday and Monday, sanity intact. Or at least, that's what he's doing for me. Had a bad week, but I think the worst is past, and things will be okay.

Quick reminder, before I go and pack the last of the orders, I'm drawing for a large suncatcher ornament on Monday for anyone who donates to my paypal (button here) or orders from my Etsy shop before midnight. The coupon code XMAS2011 is still good for 15% off!

Just comment on this entry if you donate or order! I want to keep it all in one neat place!

Thank you again. Thank you. <3
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Smooch)
Yes, you get an extra helping of kitteh.

The Derp Bros

Heart U Capshun

OMGWTF

Etrigan's expression and pearl-clutching posture in that last one is priceless.

Caption at will. (Non-capshun version of #2 is here.)
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Cats)
Oh, Smooch.

Yeti-cat wants kisses.

I had a bad night and a bad morning, and Smooch came in and checked on me several times. The last time, he came and lay right next to me on the pillow I curl up with, pushed my stuffed rabbit out of the way, turned so his chest was against mine, put an enormous paw on my shoulder, and then turned his face under and butted his little doorknob head under my chin, purring like an idling garbage truck.

When he looked up again I kissed him on his pushed-in little nose, and then he leaned in and licked my lip.

So I had kitty hugs and kitty kisses.

Smelly ones.

Somewhat less flattering.

I still feel pretty crappy, but at least I have something to laugh at.

He's a stinky little dude, he really is, but I love him so much.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Yup, still in love with this guy.

Professor Blofeld von Smooch 02

I mean, really. Why were the chicks not all over this guy? This is obviously a cultured, intelligent cat that will recite poetry to you while you stand on your balcony, thinking to yourself, "What I really need in my life is a guy who sleeps with his face in his water dish and wants to cuddle when I'm on the toilet. A guy who will save me from my glasses by dragging them off my face and hiding them under the blanket. A guy who smells kind of like socks and mushrooms. This guy."

Professor Blofeld von Smooch 01

We are so seldom sure when we've done the right thing. Life doesn't always work like that, you know? This time, I am sure. Smooch was the absolute right thing.

You guys, I love him so much it isn't fair. I would love him even if his face wasn't so silly. That is how much I love him.

The face is just the sugar on top.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Okay! We are coming up on the end of the month at Adventurotica.com, so it's time for those of you who set your renew date at the beginning of the month to renew!

Renewing lets us do awesome stuff like feed The Meringue-outan:

Smooch's Happy Face

Shown here in an attitude of attentive repose. The technical word for his expression is "hilarious."

It also refills my meds and feeds us, which is sort of important to everyone around here.

We have a lot of good stuff up for free, too!

The Woman In The Header (hint: there's not one) is part one of two, and I think it's really pretty good.

It bothers me because naked-men-liking folks are expected to feel included by imagery of sexy women, and heterosexual men are so deeply discouraged from finding men attractive that they specifically feel excluded and disgusted by pictures of sexy men. See, women are encouraged to develop an eye for what makes women sexy, and are often encouraged to explore the idea of this sexiness personally, physically, whether by dressing or acting sexy, or by physically playing around with other women. This is fine, I'm all for it, except the door doesn't swing both ways. Men are not, overall, encouraged to develop an intellectual appreciation for the attractiveness of other men, and the stigma related to exploring it sexually is much greater for men than women, making it blatantly unfair. Being straight is part of the Performance of Being A Man, and lack of appreciation for male attractiveness is part of that performance.

It bothers me that a picture of a woman lolling around nude and looking vulnerable and inviting is likely to be easily recognized as "sexy" by most people, whether they personally respond to it or not, but a man who is similarly naked and vulnerable and lolling around looking like he really wants some friendly attention (and maybe, in that case, a towel and a hair-dryer) is not only not as likely to be recognized as "sexy," but is likely to be considered ridiculous or un-sexy, or worse, "gay." And I don't mean folks think it's as awesome as buttsex, or that it's meant to appeal to gay men, I mean they feel that it's "unnecessarily girly, stupid, pointless, and effeminate" to show a man posing "like a girl" . . . which apparently means "looking sexy."


Yeah. This one really gets up my nose.

Worth clicking on that above link, btw, if you like pretty young dark-haired men who are on the skinny side. Very sweet. Although he looks like he needs some hot chocolate and hot oral sex, stat.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
I was rinsing my big paintbrush in the bathroom sink when Smooch came in and tail-tagged me, the kitty equivalent of a human shoulder-hug. He squeaked at me insistently so I put the brush down and picked him up. He was all about the love, and let me hold him scritch his armpits and backside long enough that I decided I really needed to get back to my painting before my palette dried out.

I put him on the back of the couch, petted him a little more, and started to walk away. Before I could take a single step back, he turned and leaped back up into my arms, tacklehugging me.

I sat down in Sargon's chair and snuggled him, and because that's the kind of thing that Tazendra used to do, I was tearing up something fierce. Not sniffling, but, you know, leaky. He turned and, with an expression of grave concern on his ludicrous, flat face, grabbed my glasses in his gimpy little mouth and started pulling them off (he does this sometimes; I think he believes they are evil face-eating bugs). I took them off and he kissed my cheek with his pushed-in little nose.

And we sat there and I scritched him and he cracked his crooked jaws open in pleasure, his snaggle tooth sticking up and his one eye squeezed closed, purring his horrible cat breath into my face. And once again, at last, I was staring into the gremlin face of love.

Dignified Creature

All those people who say cats aren't as good as dogs, that cats will never love a human like a dog will, that cats have no loyalty and are only greedy little monsters who will eat you before you're cold . . . all those people?

Man, fuck them.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
This kitty photo dump is for [personal profile] flewellyn, who wanted moar pictures.

Smooch So Pretty 01

WOW. Look! An actual NICE picture of Smooch! He really is a pretty cat.

Smooch Yawn

You can't see the gimpiness of his mouth too well here, since the teeth are covered, making it hard to see where things SHOULD be. Still, you can kind of see how things are just a little warped.

Moar, including some silliness! )

That is all the pictures for now! I am off to answer email!
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Smooch is a purebred lolcat.

Smooch YARRR

I laugh at his face every day. He is a worthy successor to The Mocus.

I hope the several of you who have requested more kitty pics are duly amused. I am still trying to get pretty portraits of them, but they are silly cats, so it is rather difficult.
naamah_darling: Lucian from Underworld next to a snarling wolf. From the dark into the black, throwbacks always have to go. (Lucian Throwbacks)
I think I have a minor cold. I've been sneezing ALL DAY. Not best pleased.

I am not fleeing Livejournal, never fear, but I AM going to be posting from Dreamwidth to LJ, because DW has cross-posting enabled, and LJ doesn't. So feel free to add me on DW if you like. I will be in both places, but mostly reading my f-list through LJ.

In other news, the cats are settling in, and Fish has been spotted playing with Etrigan several times. It was decidedly of the "hold them down and pretend to bite them" school of playing, but it was play, and it's not like Smooch, the hairy marshmallow devil, doesn't do just the same. Smooch, alas, has been getting no love from the girls. I think he's too big and strange. They'll get over it.

Sif remains Concerned Cat, and this has made her fussier and more nervous than usual. She is still very sweet, and still Means Well. Roleplaying tonight, I was pretending tears, and she became quite concerned until I demonstrated that all was, in fact, well.

I will admit that for a few days I was afraid that I wasn't the right human for Smooch, but he has settled in, and Etrigan, probably the most charismatically and consistently adorable young cat I have ever met, was part of the household from almost the very first day. I think we're probably good to go.

Smooch is the strangest cat. He's physically a high-maintenance cat, but not emotionally. He is very quiet and demands very, very little, and doesn't seem to need much cuddling. I would think he was unhappy and didn't like us if it weren't for the fact that he will follow me from room to room, not laying on me or next to me, but laying where he can see me. And if I am going back and forth carrying things from room to room, or even just going to the bathroom for a moment, he follows directly at heel and will follow me back. I offer to snuggle him, and he puts up with it for a few moments, then goes on his way (I'm not going to force him to cuddle; for one, it's not nice, and for another, he is an incredibly strong cat). Even when he solicits snuggles, he rarely does so for more than a minute or two before he departs (without, it must be said, any rancor at all).

He has the heart of a kitten hidden deep in all that fur, and plays with Etrigan tirelessly, wrestling and bunny-kicking and chasing. They are very, very happy. Getting them both was, without a doubt, the right choice. This would not have worked any other way. I am coming to realize that Smooch is a cat's cat; he relates to other cats as though he is an adult cat and they are also adult cats (many cats regard humans as adult cats, and perceive themselves in a 'kitten' role, and others simply do not seem to regard themselves as cats at all), and I think he relates to other humans as though they are fellow adult cats, too. He doesn't snuggle Etrigan, but he does like to know where Etrigan is, and will often follow him or seek him out just to be nearby. He treats me much the same.

I know he likes me, and sees me as a friend. He tells me so quite clearly when he stretches languidly under my hand as I do a drive-by petting, and when he walks past me he will in turn curl his tail against my calf before smooching on his merry way, which is the cat equivalent of a squeeze and a kiss, or when he tries to groom the hateful face-hugger off of me (my glasses) with great persistence. He endures handling with general good-natured calm whenever he has Troubles and needs to have his face cleaned or his butt fur trimmed or his feet washed or his fur brushed.

It isn't the affection style I was used to with Tazendra, who was not very catlike at all, and certainly didn't interact with the other living denizens of casa Naamah as though she were a cat. It's different, is all, and I'm having to get used to it. I don't have a problem accepting him on his own terms, I like that he is a Different Cat, but as it's not an affection style I am experienced with, and it does leave me fearful that I am doing it wrong and something more is required on my end.

I care very deeply, obviously, but that is not always enough. We have to be willing to listen and learn and we have to put ourselves in their situation and look at things from their point of view: what are they trying to say? What are their actions meant to accomplish or convey? What is the source of their tension? What makes them comfortable, and what makes them fearful? Why?

Cats are not as complex as we are emotionally but they do have feelings, every bit as much as a human child. I have seen them display embarrassment, anger, affection, disgust, contentment, jealousy, rage, fear, worry, anticipation, curiosity, disappointment, boredom, grief, loneliness, remorse, annoyance, sadness, shame, frustration.

They feel all these things, but they have very, very little with which to make themselves understood. Ears, body, eyes, tail, a variety of sounds that is only somewhat consistent from cat to cat, and a small but powerful library of instinctive actions (and almost always a few learned ones) to convey pleasure or displeasure or to demonstrate a need or a fear, like the different ways they can sharpen their claws, which all convey something meaningful, or scent-marking with feet and chin and bodily functions, and the many inappropriate ways they may do this when things are frustrating to them, or engaging in repetitive annoying and forbidden behavior to get our attention.

We have to work to understand them, and their sometimes roundabout ways of expressing themselves. Some are easy to live with, some very hard, but they are all individuals, and the damaged ones can't really be blamed, since all too often that damage comes as a result of humans having failed them.

So I am still in the process of trying to understand Smooch and what motivates and interests him, what he likes and does not like, so that I can be a good family member and friend to him for however long I have him. (I don't worry about Etrigan, and if you met him you wouldn't, either. He could get along with just about anyone, anywhere.) This is what I wanted, this is the work I wanted to do, to make a new friend and give someone really special a home. And I am happy it's him, with his oversized yeti paws and his terrible breath and his sweet little scrunched-up face and the way he sleeps in the most ridonkulous positions.

This is his Petfinder listing, which I had open for three days before I gave in and called. And you know, I'm awfully glad I did.

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