this girl

She’s sick! She’s getting better, but we had a scare on Sunday when we woke up to an ailing cat who had licked and scratched a spot on her back raw. Awful, I know.

Turns out she had some serious double ear infection type thing and her wound was likely a symptom of that, which is something they’ve seen before. They sent us home with three different medications, two of which we have to give her twice a day for ten days!

You can imagine our joy. Giving medicine to a cat ever – but especially this cat – is the worst. And we have to do it twice a day for ten whole days.

Naturally, we’re going out of town right in the middle of the ten days (for my birthday!) and we really don’t want to have to cancel the trip over a cat. So our kind and dear friends Faryn and David are going to come vacation at our place for the weekend and care for sweet Kaia and her ailments.

So that’s what’s going on around here. Every morning and evening we upset our family world for a solid 10 minutes when we catch her, try to get it done quickly and gently, and we feel guilty while she sits in the corner recovering, pouting, and looking seriously pissed.

I’m exhausted. Work is constant. The day goes by in an instant because I am working non-stop. I’m writing, performing, rehearsing and teaching when I’m not at work. And I sleep and watch TV the rest of the time. It’s a whirlwind.

Goodnight.

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who knew

It’s been a while since I’ve done a cat post!

Who knew that this mangy little rascal who once scuttled away from every human or slight breeze that crossed her path would turn into such a stunning creature.

That first shot is from last year, right after we got her. This one is from just yesterday. She’s about 2 years old now.

Her dad calls her beautiful Mancoon coat her “party dress,” which is adorable and hilarious. You can’t see her whole body in this shot, but when you can, she really does look like she’s on her way to her Quinceañera.

She still scuttles away from almost anything, but she’s become a great addition to our family. She demands snuggles in the morning, likes to brush her fluffy, soft tail against you to remind you she’s underfoot, and when she sleeps (all day long) she’s the cuddliest little thing on planet Earth.

You may or may not recall that when we first saw her in her cage at the adoption place, Kevin didn’t think we should pick her. She looked…well…sickly, and she seemed terrified of everything. Plus, her fur wasn’t all grown in yet so she was a patchy mess. But I had to have her. I don’t know why. I just knew she was mine. Now, of course, we both adore her, but I’ll never let him forget that he would have left her there to die. (Melodramatically speaking.)

If you’re new around here, you might not know that we have two cats. The little girl cat is Kaia. And our older cat is the dashing, handsome, personable Chawser.

He’s a real man’s man. He’s inquisitive and social, likes to hunt and fish and chase squirrels that he will never catch because he’s not allowed outside unsupervised.

And he doesn’t want anyone to know it but he’s fiercely protective of his sister. He adores her.

Cats. I want three more, plus a dog, a horse and a baby goat.

friday

Look who has been secretly eating the leaves of these tulips I just bought. I discovered her this morning.

I have been adoring my kitties lately – what else is new – and also my boyfriend, who is my best friend. Awwww, cheesy and sweet, etc.  Spring is here, the light pours into our living room in the morning, we both work from home and we make breakfast together and we have our morning rituals with our cats and life is good.

What else? I will turn 30 six months from today. Yikes! Please be prepared to roll your eyes at the frequency with which I might mention that I’m about (“about”) to turn 30 over the next few months. I am probably going to be one of those people. I guess I thought I’d never turn 30, that it wouldn’t happen to me. I know, I know, it’s not a big deal, it’ll be great, blah blah blah. Just let me have my mini drama over it.

I’m with Harvard Sailing Team on Long Island right now. The two members of our team who are living in LA right now are back in New York for the weekend. We did two shows today, had a couple rehearsals, and now we’re out in the burbs tonight and tomorrow. We’re shooting a video and working on some other scripts and projects that are in the works.

Long day. I’m beat, but happy and loving spending time with my friends.

routine

This is one of my mom’s adorable cats, in one of his rare visits to the main floor of the house while we were in town.

Kevin and I just returned home from a week-long trip to the Chicagoland area. My mom and stepdad have two cats, neither of whom like to spend much time with us when we come to visit, which is pretty funny. We took care of them for a week at Christmastime and even then they barely ventured out to say hello.

I’m not sure I would either if I had a big, old house to run around in and no good reason to acquaint myself with visiting strangers who happen to also smell like cats – BROOKLYN cats – the worst kind.

Still, it was nice to spend some time with the Crystal Lake cats of our family when we did get to see them – they are both adorable.

Can you see little Mocha in the chair on the left? I discovered these two basking in the sun on the warm porch one afternoon. She stared at me for a few minutes, stunned or disgusted – I couldn’t tell which – and then she decided sharing the porch with me would simply not do and she scurried upstairs to her hiding place.

We had a friend stay with our two cats while we were away and he took fabulous care of them. Even so, they were delighted when their mom and dad walked through the door last night.

Look who seems very glad to have Kev back in his usual spot.

He’s drunk with contentedness.

I’m feeling a little bit out of my routines and habits lately – I felt that way even before the trip to Chicago. It was lovely to see family, to get to spend so much time with my mom, and to get to enjoy the spoils of the suburbs (lotsa driving, lotsa good food, and several trips to Kohl’s). I’m glad to be home, though, so that I can get into a bit more of a structured pattern with my workday, my exercise routine and my other commitments.

That said, I’m starting to catch on that there may never be a time when I’m satisfied with my “routine” and how effective it is, or how effectively I’m able to navigate it. Maybe that’s the point.

Oh yes, and the Chicago Improv Festival was a super fun time. Our show went well and we had fun – and thank you so much to anyone and everyone who came out to see the Jen+Steve set! We were sold out! Woot!

this is my desk

I was thinking today, as I was writing at my desk, about the idea that you can tell a lot about a person based on how they keep their desk or work bench.

I guess you can tell a lot about a person based on how they handle almost anything.

Back to desks. Mine’s a little messy. My mom can attest, for much of my childhood my room was the messiest around. Sure, sometimes I tidy up my desk, organize and reorganize everything. And that always feels nice, like any tidying tends to. But it generally looks like this.

I have been sitting at this desk – and around a bunch of other places in the living room that hurt my back such as the couch, and the other couch – for several days in a row now, writing, writing, writing. It’s been a lot of fun because I love to write. My hips hurt, but I’ve been doing some yoga to make up for it. Luckily, it’s been rainy, so I haven’t felt badly about cooping myself up. I don’t think I left the house today.

This a picture Otto, now 5, drew for me while were on the bus a few weeks ago, a few weeks before he turned 5. It’s an orange cat. Underneath, it says “Manrd,” which is supposed to be “Maynard.” Pretty damn good. Maynard was, I believe, a cat his grandma used to have or maybe still has. This hangs on the wall above my desk by a piece of tape.  I told Otto, “One of our cats is orange, my cat Chawser is orange.” He pointed out, “He doesn’t have a green face, though.” True.

This is a cat calendar my mom gave me for Christmas. I love it. I turn the page over every week and find the cat or cats in a new cartoon doing hilarious things. Here is this week’s.

And this is a wacky corner of my desk that currently contains an early Easter card from Grandma, two pairs of sunglasses (one pair is Kevin’s), an empty bottle of expensive vanilla extract that I just had to keep because it cost FIFTY DOLLARS, a frame my friend Sara made for me which holds a picture of my late cat Floyd who died a year ago, and a cat figurine that my mom gave me for Christmas.

Conclusion: I AM A CAT LADY.

Yikes.

a sunny monday!

I woke up this morning to see the sun streaming in our front door, and I instantly turned the TV on to check the temp. Mid-fifties and rising! I could not be happier about this.

It was a beautiful weekend here in NYC, sunny and warmer than it’s been in recent weeks, but to wake up on a Monday to bright blue skies and temps even warmer than the weekend – well, that’s my jam right there. I hate to think that I’m so impacted by the weather that I lose a solid two months at the beginning of every year to the doldrums, but that’s just the reality. This spring-like weather makes me ridiculously happy. I feel hopeful, I feel inspired, I am focused on what’s possible rather than on what needs to get done. It’s amazing how that works.

I plan to go for a walk/jog in the park in a few minutes, after I finish this post, finish the Fanny & Jane books (I do the books on Mondays) and throw on some exercise clothes. But when I woke up, I knew I couldn’t wait until I was finished with those tasks to get into the sunshine. So I had breakfast on our stoop.

The sun shines down onto the front of our house for most of the day, which is a lucky thing for a girl who likes to sit on her front stoop. It’s not even 60 degrees out there, but I had breakfast wearing only a tshirt and jeans. It was heavenly!

Fair trade coffee from Trader Joe’s…

And a spinach smoothie with banana, soy milk and flax seed.

And look who joined me for some sunbathing!

Chawser LOVES to hang out on the stoop with us when it’s warm out. We’ll open the door a bit and he’ll venture out at his own pace. We’ve (miraculously) trained him to only stay on the stoop, not to go off onto the driveway or the surrounding gardens. I’m sure if we weren’t out there to regulate him, he’d dart off in whatever direction, but he will sit right next to me for as long as I’ll let him. It was so nice to have a breakfast mate.

My other breakfast mates were two succulents that I have managed to make ill with my incredibly inept green thumb. I was hoping the sun would inspire them back to health. I thought you weren’t supposed to be able to kill these things!

Nothing whatsoever is perfect in my world and I have constant stresses and worries, but this day makes it all seem a little bit simpler. Also? Days like this are why I quit my job. Because I would wake up back then, and head into work, enjoying the heck out of my commute for its amazing views of the city from the Manhattan Bridge, for its ten-minute walk from the subway to the office through a bustling, energizing midtown Manhattan. And then I’d always feel my heart sink a little as I walked into the dark, gloomy office, knowing that I wouldn’t re-emerge for nine hours. And as much as I loved the salary, I always thought, This is not a reasonable trade-off for me. This is not good enough.

Today, even though I have a To Do list ten miles long, a budget to worry about, a bank account I’d love to add a few more zeros to, and an all-around imperfect life, I’m thrilled to get to go for a jog in the spring weather, on MY schedule, when I feel like it. Imperfection is perfect today.

around the house

Thought you might like to see some images from around the house. I felt like taking pictures one afternoon last week, but I hadn’t left the apartment, nor did I plan to leave the apartment, so I figured shooting domestic images would have to suffice.

These are the roses Kevin bought me for Valentine’s Day, which are looking delightful for longer than expected. After the first several days, I trimmed them down from their original length. Then, just last night, I threw away the dead ones and separated the still nice ones into smaller vases to put in various places in the apt. I love having a splash of flower-color in surprise places. Also, hanging out with these roses for the last week reminds me why I must continue to buy flowers. They cheer me up always always.

Will you please look at this ridiculous cat foot? This guy is part rabbit, part tiger, and part human with an excessive-napping problem.

While he slept, I was watching this…

…and eating these.

I am digging these Winter Olympics more than I expected to. I could watch any of it, at any hour of the day. And I do. Skiing, figure skating and snowboarding are my favorites. I care not for the luge.

These are freshly laundered kitchen towels that were waiting on the table for me to put away into the cabinet. We have so many brightly colored kitchen towels. I’m a real stickler about which kinds I like to use – these are some of my favorites, not just for their brightness but for their functionality.

Speaking of freshly laundered, these guys had a trip to the washing machine too, courtesy of Kevin and his big ideas. We’ve been doing some essential cleaning and tidying around here lately and it has breathed new life into my desire to wake up in the mornings.

Last, but not least, another cat shot. Sometimes, if I’m lounging around watching TV, I go on a Cat Hunt during the commercials. “Where are they and can I smooch them?” is my motivation.

I found this one snuggled into the covers in our bed. She is so easy to cuddle it’s ridiculous. She’s like melted cat pudding.

That’s it – a little tour of the things I saw around the house one lazy afternoon last week.

Tomorrow I plan to write about the end of my 30 Day Yoga Challenge (!).