Notes on October

The fog comes in on little cat feet.
–Carl Sandburg

And on those same little cat feet, it always seems to me on days like today, the summer goes out.

Even more so than the fog, autumn is the most enigmatic of natural phenomena; such incredible beauty arising out of relentless decay. Canadian raconteur Arthur Black once described this season as a velvet-gloved gentleman, tapping gently-but-insistently on our doors to warn of Old Man Winter’s approach. It’s a nice image, but my imagination can only reconcile it if the gentleman is F.Scott Fitzgerald.

All of which is an extended rationalisation for why I went out to Niagara this past sunny Sunday to see the fall colours, enjoyed them to the full, but didn’t take a single pic… then came home and took a bunch of shots during a random stroll down to the Second Cup on a misty Tuesday evening. And have now decided to inflict them on the readership.

Seasonal picspam under here…

The Seven Days meme: Day Two

day 01 | a song
Day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book/ebook/fanfic
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy


Ooh, picture day! And… I spent the whole afternoon planning out the Book entry. You see, Mom? This blogging business is hard. Yeah. You smell that when you come near to ask me about doing the dishes? Genius, burning. Absolutely.

Anyway, because you can get away with anything as long as you have cute cat pics, I present a gallery entitiled Current Kitteh Portraits; or a Faithful Record of the Only Moments Jasmine Has Stopped Moving Long Enough to Be Photographed Over the Last Month.

(That’s Shoemom she’s reclining on in the one pic, BTW.)

The warm fuzzies start here…

Son of kitteh picspam III: Enter the dragon

…or, more accurately, enter our adult cat, Dolly, with whom kitteh has established a relationship not unlike the one in that Looney Tune with the big bulldog and the eager little mutt. Complete with happy bounces across the living room: "We’re pals, ain’t we, Dolly? Yup, you and me, right?"

Meanwhile of course, Dolly is throwing me pleading looks like "Do you really hate me this much?" I am not thinking there is much maternal instinct there. She finally snapped the other night and raised a threatening paw… which Jasmine promptly charged like it was the best toy she’d seen in weeks. Next thing you know they’re in a full-on game of Whack-a-Groupie. It was hilarious.

However. If there is one great leveller in the feline world, one language they all understand, it is: sleep. Big kittehs, bitty kittehs, get them dozy enough and it’s warm fuzzies all around – literally. I don’t wish to get into cliches here, but it does strike me that a bit of Sleep-Eze mixed into the water supply of, say, Syria would not hurt international tensions any.

Cozy cuteness under here…

More kitteh picspam!

Look, yes, I know I should be writing on more adventurous topics. I really should. Like for instance, that time I wrote about filling in for my supervisor, and got my first taste of management, and how that was pretty cool? Yeah, well, my buyer has been travelling in New York all this week. Also the department planner is in Europe somewhere. Probablygorging on good beer and schnitzel right now, the fink.

Anyway, this left yours truly alone to hold down the fort…rather in the manner of Custer at Little Big Horn. Really. Vague delightful visions of cool efficiency and calm authority vaporised the first damn day. Which, incidentally, was Tuesday, thanks to the stat holiday.

So there I was, alone on the Dark Side of responsibility. Past weeks of being friendly and helpful when I had the time to be all came home to roost. Everything was a problem. Nothing had a simple solution, nobody could intuit anything; they all needed me to find it out and spell it to them in turn, generally using words of very few syllables, if the drift is clear.
I churned out Monday’s late reports and created SKUs and sorted routing issues for new vendors and sourced contacts for other new vendors’ packaging questions and tried to figure out why the report numbers didn’t match for other vendors and returned samples and tracked down missing samples and fended off another new vendor’s anxious questions about when their contract would be finalised…

…and it goes without saying that all of this needed to be attended to RIGHT THEN AND THERE or the world would naturally come to an end. It’s funny in hindsight, how your priorities get screwed up in retail admin. People are dying, wars are raging, Lindsay Lohan still has a career, but you delay one lousy day off approving a PO for sparkly tops and it’s like, Atlas wobbles.

All of this, mind, while battling a raging case of PMS. Oh, and a course of Louisa May Alcott. Why I thought rereading the Marches’ saga would be a good idea at this point I do not know. Hanging around actual Transcendentalists must’ve been just an incredibly annoying experience, back in the day. "Now, now, Shoe; impatience is your greatest fault, of which I’ve made a helpful list. No, don’t thank me; too many young women have gone astray through want of a helpful word to guide them through a proper understanding of their duty…"

Yea-ahh. By Thursday, I had just about got caught up to the point where I could actually consider starting any of the projects I’d planned. By end of day today, my stomach was knotting every time I even thought about checking my email. I ended up hiding in an upstairs lounge, playing Gem Drop. It was pitiful.

So, this weekend? Is all about the R&R. I refuse to even consider the possiblity of serious thought until Monday. And this is where having a smart, sweet, curious, just overall incredibly cool new kitten comes in just incredibly handy.

Soothing kitteh-ness coming right up…

The cuteness! It…is kinda soft & nice, actually.

So the official Cutest Kitteh Evar came home last night as scheduled. (Just as a minor parenthetical coolness, her first home was on Degrassi Street. Which yes, is a real little residential enclave tucked away down near the lakeshore, in Riverview neighborhood. OK, it’s actually spelled DeGrassi in RL, but still. Neat, no?)

I haven’t been able to catalogue too many details as yet, because while being a model kitteh in most respects Jasmine is still very skittish about being approached by people who are manifestly not her mommy, no matter how many times they try to tell tell her so. So our relationship thus far has consisted of kitteh playing and exploring, and me watching totally fascinated from a respectful distance.

But I knew the moment I put her down in my room that this was my destined pet and no other. Because a short while later I came back and found her curled up on the bottom shelf of my bookcase – not on the shelf, but up on the books themselves. Having first scritched and nuzzled a bit, making herself perfectly comfortable:

Rampant adorableness under the cut…

Find the face you’ve seen a thousand times…

OK, so happiness is also about getting the sleep you need when you (desperately) need it, which is where yesterday’s entry went. In fact, sometime I may write an entire post on the sweetness of a good sleep, because frankly it makes me very, VERY happy to, say, wake up at 6am and then suddenly realise it’s Saturday.

(Parenthetically – anybody else have early-morning dreams in which they get up and start getting ready for work, only to hit some impossible snafu and get so incredibly frustrated they…wake up, all confused? Because I do, often enough to be bemused. I’ve missed imaginary busses and taken surreal showers in which I accidentally dump lotion on my hair. Several times I’ve theoretically left the house [ahem] half-dressed. Just very, very strange.)

Meanwhile, this post is about my waking hours, and a little detour happiness took this week.

Long story short: I met friend at services. Friend commiserates re: Lucy, as per all my friends, who come to think of it are a whole ‘nother entry in and of themselves. Anyway, this particular friend inquires if I’m planning on getting another cat. I hem and haw and say things like ‘eventually’; for now we already have another cat, and had about decided she would be enough.

Trouble is, as I’d been discovering to my dismay, Dolly isn’t really my cat. I mean, to all intents and purposes she’s not a cat at all, she’s a little person in a fur suit. We’re buddies well enough, but Shoemom’s the onewho fell in love with her as a kitten and has raised her since, so she’s the one who gets all the cuddles and the lap warming. That’s what I missed, not just the fact of a cat, but having a cat…

…Look, I’m not going to draw direct comparisons between pets and kids here; I find that whole ‘a boy is a pig is a dog’ line repugnant. But there are certain instinctive emotional needs that can find a satisfying outlet elsewhere when one has no offspring of their own species, is all I am saying.

This is where I am at when friend announces that she knows of a litter, five weeks old, available free to good home in another three. I’d better hop on the reserve list now, right? Besides…one of the kittens happens to be a tortoishell.
Um, I said. Heart leaping and then almost instantly hitting my shoes. How could I possibly be trying to fill Lucy’s place so soon? How could I fill it at all? Of course, I couldn’t. So clearly I was merely being completely selfish, trying to paper over her memory with a little helpless kitten, using it to assuage my own grief…

Just come and see them, said the friend. OK, I said.

And that’s how I learned that grief and happiness are not – should not – be mutually exclusive concepts.

Meet Jemima.

(The one who looks like she's auditioning for Two-Face in a feline production of Dark Knight Returns. I did think of calling her Harley Quinn, but just got funny looks.)

Spring has sprung…

…the grass is riz, wonder where my pictures is. Well, wonder no longer, picspam lovers, because the other day Shoemom and I discovered Edwards Gardens, a beautiful civic parkland nestled up in North York. One of those old estates turned public gardens, which just parenthetically I think is a terrific way to maintain your legacy. Not only do you get to be thought of as public-spirited, but also as having really good taste.

Anyway, thanks to dear old Rupert Ed., Torontonians have an absolutely amazing amount of stroll-ready nature, right there below the Ford dealership. Between all the Olde Englishe tidiness and the scampering fauna is created the (slightly unsettling) feeling you’ve stumbled onto open auditions for the latest Disney feature. Ducks on the pond, squirrels racing through the branches, chipmunks scurrying over rocks, robins and cardinals singing from the eaves and – would you believe – a plump little muskrat trotting busily down the path. I love muskrats; I’ve never seen anything that looks so much like a stuffed animal of itself.

So between this walk and a couple others, I was inspired to create a little Welcome Spring catalogue:
Pretty pictures under the cut…

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