Ranking cats in order of how easy it is to trim nails.

Cynthia cat: This is fine.

Lucy: This is fine no wait this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to anyone.


6 July 2017


Bad things the cats have done (this week).

  1. Eaten soap. (Lady Jane)
  2. Repeatedly broken into the cupboard below the sink. (Lucy)
  3. Deleted all my MLA search results before I could save them. (Lucy)
  4. Hung up on a Skype call with B. 5 times in a single conversation. (Cynthia)
  5. Climbed the screen door. (Lucy)
  6. Escaped into the hallway while I was bringing the laundry in. (Cynthia)
  7. Broken the ceramic covered soap dish in a bid to get at the delicious soap contained within. (Lady Jane)
  8. Nearly ate a set of headphones. (Lucy)
  9. Went into the grocery bags and pulled out the new bar of soap I bought to replace the one that got smashed all over the bathroom floor (see #7). (Lady Jane)
  10. Went into the garbage and pulled out all the crumpled up balls of paper and dropped them in the bathtub. (Lucy)
  11. Ate my soup. (Lucy)
  12. Repeatedly tried to eat my breakfast. (Lucy)

24 October 2016

Since I’ve had…

a more relaxed schedule I’ve been playing with the cats more. They’re pretty active and into things to the extent that I mostly tune out any strange noises I hear around the place and have mostly lost my startle response when objects crash to the ground nearby. (‘What are you destroying in there?’ I’ll casually call over to the next room. Or ‘Good job knocking things over!’ when I see rampant destruction happening in front of me.)

But everything I’ve ever read about trouble-making cats has added up to ‘play with cat more=tired, well behaved cat!’ Except in the case of my cats it seems to have made them more active and into everything.

Case in point.


This ended in a broken plate.

26 September 2016




Preface: Lucy had an upset stomach yesterday. Which lead to the following:

Lucy: [eats a bunch of food]

Lucy, half an hour later: [throws up a hairball + bunch of food, walks away]

Lucy, 15 seconds later [circles back, sees regurgitated food] food. NOM NOM.

Human: [cleaning up hairball + regurgitated food] Ugh, gross. Don’t eat that! Gross!

Lucy: [stands by, disgruntled, while regurgitated food is taken away]

Human [throws down cloth to wipe the floor afterwards, leaves to get soap/water]

Lucy: I have an idea for a fun game.

Lucy: [rolls on cloth/floor where she just vomited]



22 July 2016

Happy birthday, Cynthia cat.

Already curled up to the Jonson.Cynthiabirthday

Six years ago my first cat Celia died suddenly from congenital kidney failure. It was already a bad time for me and after spending a horrible week in my catless apartment I packed up and went back to my parents’ home for a week or so. On the day before my birthday my amazing friends picked me up to go out and celebrate — which for us meant an afternoon of coffee and bookstores. But at the end of our trip we went to the pet store across from the Humane Society. It was one of those set ups where they host animals from local rescues, including the HS.

I met Cynthia (formerly named Domino for obvious reasons), as well as another very large and very charming tuxie boy.

I convinced myself that I should probably not impulsively adopt the first cat I met and went home. But it turns out I am terrible at convincing myself not to adopt cats. When I went back the next day I found myself asking who would be more likely to tolerate me reading and writing for long periods of time and was told that Cynthia was a little more of a lap cat than Mr Giant Tuxie.

Actually I was told, in somewhat ominous tones, that she was needy. Really needy. Maybe more needy than I would be ready for.

The first night was pretty telling. After a couple of hours of wandering around, calmly inspecting her new kingdom, she flopped down on the floor, stretching lazily in a ‘you will adore and pet me now’ pose (see above).

In the last six years I have learned that ‘she is a bit needy’ actually means ‘she will insist that you pay attention to her at all possible moments and even when you are busy you will pay attention to her’.

I’ve spent the last six years typing with a cat on my lap, a cat who occasionally reaches a paw upward to pat my face when I go too long without adoring her. Or with a cat laying beside — and then inevitably on — my laptop. And learning to read around a cat who insists on sitting on my books or directly in my field of vision. And waking up in the middle of the night to a gentle paw on my nose or snuffly nose in my eyeball (because I have to say good night to her when she goes to bed at 3am).

I have come to redefine my understandings of the term lap cat.

And no one escapes Cynthia’s demands. Anytime someone new comes to visit she will climb on a table and stare and meow  and reach out her paw to snag their clothes if she can. Or just flop at their feet in her ‘adore me’ posture.

I’ll never know how she ended up as a shelter cat because she’s pretty much the sweetest and gentlest and easygoingist cat around. I do know that I am always very grateful for her company and her affection. Especially in years like the past one where things have been not-so-good. Especially at the times when she intervenes at moments when I’ve been working too long, and forgetting to take breaks, and generally getting caught up in my anxiety that all the things have to be done.

But also at 3am.

So happy birthday to Cynthia cat: my best birthday present ever.

15 May 2016

Lady Jane.

After Lucy moved in lady Jane got very anxious and grumpy. She’s always been an anxious cat, and new cats are the Most Stressful Thing for lots of cats, so I wasn’t really surprised. And after six months or so she calmed down a lot (especially after Lucy finally realised that not all cats want to be her very best friend and started giving Lady Jane lots of space). But about two weeks or so ago she seems to have a reached a whole new level of acceptance and has become a very happy cat again. She’s picked up a whole number of habits and behaviours I totally forgot she even had/did. Like, I forgot she used to wake me up every morning by lying on top of the blankets (if you aren’t expecting it, there’s nothing more terrifying than your half-conscious brain realising there’s a heavy weight on your chest, obstructing your breathing ever-so-slightly). And I forgot that she used to follow me around when I’m home, chatting about her day. I forgot how she used to leave her little foam balls at the foot of the bed in the middle of the night. And I forgot that she likes to roll around on the floor ecstatically, paws flailing in the air, and making little ‘mrr mrr’ noises, when she’s happy.

My sense is that Lady Jane just takes a long time to adjust to anything. She took about three years to really settle in after I first adopted her. So I’m actually sort of hopeful that she might even be at ease enough to be friends with Lucy. Which is all Lucy has wanted from day one. For now I’m just really happy to see Lady Jane being ridiculous again.

12 April 2016