The Cat’s Meow

Every day my son brings home a new book from his school’s “media center” (that is a “library” for everyone over 30). In the fall he worked his way through the school’s nature books, bringing home those classics that all mothers love, such as “Worms Up Close,” “Tarantula Scientist,” and “Parasites Picture Book.” Then, thanks to some street smart little third grader, he discovered the Captain Underpants books and learned dozens of offensive names for old people and body functions.

Now it looks like he has discovered the “pets in uniforms” books, and I am extremely excited. This is what he brought home today:
Police Cat

That is a cat in a police uniform.

I could hardly control my laughter when we read the story before bed. I don’t know if it was the visual of the dressed up cat, or that the cat’s name is Noodles, or that my kids seemed to believe every word of the book – it was just too much for me. Did I mention that Noodles can open doors?

Police Cat Door

The only time I have ever seen a cat make that expression is right before realizing that it had a piece of Christmas tinsel hanging out of its butt. Not that that ever happened in my house.

Of course, Police Cat is about a wily cat that hangs out at the police station, chasing rats and napping, and who somehow saves a family from a fire and then stands around meowing arrogantly while a bastard German shepherd takes all the credit. Then the cat steals the dog’s breath and kills him in his sleep. NO, no, Noodles ends up getting the credit he deserves, and is rewarded with a “Hero-of-the-City Award” and an ill fitting uniform, complete with a tiny cat-sized hat that seems to have holes for his little cat ears.

After we finished reading the book, my daughter reminded me of a story I told her once that can’t possibly be true. I told her about the time that I dressed up my fat, mangy cat Duchess in doll clothes and a bonnet, and put her in my frilly old-fashioned doll carriage – and then pranced down the street with her to take her to my kindergarten class for show and tell. There is no way that happened, right? I mean, I did actually have parents. But I have extremely vivid memories of this. I also remember a mass of kids following along behind me and feeling a little bit like a movie star with my fancy carriage-riding cat. I may have just pinpointed where my obsession with celebrities started.

Anyhow, at the end of Police Cat, Noodles’ new police hat goes flying out the window while he is chasing bad guys in a police car. And Noodles decided he didn’t care because, I don’t know, he’s a big deal now or something. Well, I lost a little respect for Noodles right then. All I could think about is how mad I would be if I had spent hours crafting a tiny police hat for a cat (you can’t just buy those at a store), and then the ungrateful a-hole just loses it like an hour after he put it on his little cat head. Which is why I do not make clothes for cats.

I can’t wait to see what is in my son’s backpack tomorrow afternoon. Sloth Firefighter, perhaps, or Dolphin Mail Carrier? Or maybe Hamster Hooker? I know, hookers don’t really wear uniforms, so that’s probably not even a book. But maybe Police Cat busts a Hamster Hooker in a follow-up.

A girl can dream. And frankly, anything is an improvement over that parasite picture book.

Monkeys, Minaj, and More

So I started thinking that I had nothing to write about today and then I see this:  Image

It is like the universe is telling me to write and is sending forlorn pocket-sized monkeys as its messengers.  If you happened to lose your adorable, tiny, shearling-coat wearing monkey today, he is apparently wandering around an Ikea in Toronto.  And he’s wearing a diaper.  And according to at least one woman in the store who posted a video of the little guy on YouTube, the whole experience was “terrifying.”  OH my god, now I just read that this monkey was locked in its crate in a car, and it managed to get out of said crate, OPEN THE CAR DOOR, and make it across the presumably huge Ikea parking lot to do a little shopping.  That IS terrifying.  The owner wasn’t supposed to have the monkey in the first place, so now the Toronto authorities aren’t giving him back.  What will become of this poor monkey?  Well, at least he’s dressed appropriately for winter in Toronto.  Do you think he’s going to go to a zoo or animal shelter now and be like, “Why the hell are all of these monkeys naked?”  And all the other monkeys are going to be all, “OH, look at fancy clothed monkey in his warm shearling coat and poop-catching diaper, he thinks he’s better than us, let’s eat him.”  Poor, poor monkey.

In other news, sometimes my daughter says something so thoughtful, so sweet, so insightful, that I am in total awe of her.  And then other times, she asks me to call her Nicki Minaj when I pick her up from school.  

I just had to write that down because I don’t want to ever forget it.  

Anyways, by this point in my stay-at-home mom adventure, I expected to have some insightful perspective on the whole thing.  I thought I’d have some clarity about what was better for my family, for my kids, for me.  But instead, I have never felt so old in my life because my body is going batshit crazy.  

First, I tore the meniscus in my knee because I had the nerve to actually work out for the first time in, oh, a year.  To quote my orthopedist:  “Who do you think you are, doing lunges at your age.”  Why I never.  Luckily it wasn’t a bad tear and I only had to wear a gigantic brace and hobble around for about ten days.  But, as my mother always told me, walking like a peg-legged pirate for ten days has its price.  For me, it aggravated a back problem I hadn’t even thought about for like four years and caused me to HERNIATE A DISC.  That is in all caps because it is TOTALLY MERITED.

And of course, my disc has the balls to herniate itself right after my husband leaves for a business trip and I am solely responsible for the kids.  Shit always hits the fan as soon as my husband is en route to his fancy hotel and his expense-account nights out with co-workers.  If not for my amazing neighbor swooping in and taking care of my kids while I whimpered on my heating pad, I have no idea what I would have done.  Well, I would have taken painkillers and drooled on myself – I guess I should say I’m not sure what the kids would have done.

So the worst part of the back pain is behind me, but it has slowed me down for going on four weeks now.  Which means for four weeks I have been feeling useless and not doing the looooong list of things I wanted to do after I quit my job, and my husband has been doing everything.  All while listening to me tell him he’s doing it all wrong (well, he is).  

So that’s why I just don’t have any perspective yet.  It’s disappointing, but maybe also a lesson – that when you have more unscheduled time in your day, there’s more room for stuff to go totally off track.  Or to stop trying to plan stuff and just take care of yourself.  Or that even when you are lying on the kitchen floor in excruciating pain, it will take a good 30 minutes of eating dinner before one of your kids says, “Hey, what are you doing?”  Or maybe I am just getting old.  

I’m going with the first two.