June re-creates her neuroses via her animal kingdom

I’ve turned my not-blog boring before by mentioning this,* but again, you do NOT have to add an email address to leave a comment. I set up the commenting to be as easy as possible, and just because it SAYS “email” in one of the lines, it is not required that you put one in.

And see? That is how we should be in life. Question authority.

*I like how I act like otherwise, this thing is riveting.

Yesterday after breakfast, Steely Dan stomped out, the way he does, into the yard and beyond. When I got home for lunch, he was nowhere to be seen. If Lily and Iris go outside, by lunch they’re delighted to see me, as they’ve been lounging in the back yard, or hiding under Peg’s magnolia, or…well, no, that’s about it. That’s all they do.

But not Steely Dan.

I can always go outside and spot my other cats.

Got up and took this just now.

Not him.

After work yesterday, I had to get my hair done at 5:15, so I didn’t have a chance to go home.

Before. My whole life is a Before picture.
During. What was the period-related commercial where they said, “Before, during, AND after!”? Midol? Was it Midol? Pamprin? There’s a name. Pamprin.

I forgot to take an after. Hey, it was late. Roots are done, okay? That’s it.

IMG_0561.JPGI like where I get my hair done–it’s an old mill, like everything is here, because we used to be cotton here. We were the touch, the feel, of cotton. The fabric of our lives. And then, just like in Michigan where I grew up, someone got greedy or something, and all those jobs dried up and now mills are all other things. The point is, it’s pretty where I get my hair done, and I drive from an old mill where I work to an old mill to get m’hairs done, and then to my regular house where I mill about.

When I got home at 7:30, Edsel was champing at the bit for dinner, as it was two hours late. Of course he didn’t have to go outside, because he never goes outside. The only way that dog goes outside is if we’re on a walk or if I open the back door and walk outside with him. Then he gleefully pees on his pee tree, and hangs his head in shame to go off to the bushes to do the…other thing that he does not like me to see. It’s part of his breed. His weird, weird breed. They poop very secretively. HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SHEPHERD MIX. That’s going on his tombstone.

Oh my god, anyway.

When I got home and took care of Edsel, I was annoyed that Steely Dan had not deigned to come home FOR 12 HOURS. I called and called, and finally I heard a pound on the back door. He likes to let himself in and out via the screen door, but when it’s shut, he stands back there and opens the screen over and over, so it bangs, which makes me think of Ned saying, “I’d like to bang her like a screen door in a thunderstorm,” which was a good line even though I wished to punch him clean in the mouth every time he announced to me anyone else he wanted to bang.

Anyway, there he was, Steely Dan, I mean, no worse for the wear, having done god knows what with god knows whom. He ate his disgusting canned food (careful readers will note that I mentioned on Facebook that he would not eat his new food, and pardon me boy, is that the cat who eschews his new food.

I was waiting him out and leaving the old stuff in his bowl and not giving him new food, like Joan Crawford, till he got hungry enough to eat it. He never did. That food sat there drying and untouched. I caved and Edsel gladly ate that can of old dry cat food).

IMG_0568.JPGand then before I could even NOTICE, before 10 minutes had PASSED,


Screen door in a thunderstorm. He left the house again.

“Steely DAN,” I fishwifed after him, as he sauntered off into the night.

I tried to call him before I went to bed, but he wouldn’t answer my texts.

This morning when I got up, all my regularly scheduled pets were happy to see me. When I open the door of my room, they’re all splayed out hopefully on the hall rug, and one day I should try to remember to take my camera to bed with me. Which sounds dirty. But I mean so that in the morning I can remember to photograph them all splayed in the hall, waiting.

You know what I’ll never remember to do?

I fed no-fuss Lily and no-trouble Iris, then got Edsel’s litany of pills ready and fed him his eleven thousand dollar grain-free food that isn’t helping his raw, red skin and itches and smellyness, and went to the back door.

“Kittykittykittykittykitty! SteeeeeeleeeeDAN! SteeeeeeeeleeDAN! Come on, honey.”



So while I was writing you about not having to add an email to leave a comment, I heard some crunching.

IMG_0564.JPGI didn’t even hear him come IN, and that’s how he operates. He’s stealthy. He opened that door without a peep and came in. And you KNOW he’s hungry when he deigns to eat the girl cats’ dry food. I should have left that disgusting pile of ancient canned for him. He’d have eaten it, you know, by day 14 or something.

The thing is,

gurl cat food disgust. can. can. can. can. CAN.

Now he’s got me right where he wants me. Because those rare moments when he’s home, I’m so goddamn happy to see him that he can get away with anything. Can? Even though mealtime is over? Sure. You want to chew my wedding dress? Let me get it out of the wrapping.

Photo on 9-27-17 at 7.44 AM.jpg

So now I’ve got myself a love avoidant cat. I mean, all cats are love avoidant, except Lily, who has some sort of pet-me disorder. But the more he avoids coming home and sitting on me, the more desperately I wish for him to be home and sitting on me. The more indifferent he is, the more I love him.

HE IS EVERY MAN I’VE EVER DATED. That photo up there could be my homecoming picture, my prom photo, my wedding snaps, every photo I ever took of Ned and me.

(Actually, I think Marvin was a secure attacher. He was not love avoidant. AND LOOK HOW THAT WENT.)

I just looked around, and I see that he’s left again, stealthily. I walked into the yard, despondent, and all that’s back there is Lily, who looked at me like, “Oooo, you thinking to pet Lilleeee?”

And because she’s too available, I turned my back on her and slammed the door.


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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

77 thoughts on “June re-creates her neuroses via her animal kingdom”

    1. Awww – thanks, Megsie! The post hurricane stuff is out of the national news, but it’s pretty rough around here. School and work have resumed so that’s good, but the devastation is still so prevalent. Everyone’s kind of in a daze. I didn’t even flood, and I feel in a daze! ha!


    1. I love the word carouser! I have been thinking about you…how’s the post hurricane stuff going? I hope everything is moving toward “normal”!


  1. Oh, my goodness! Comparing SD to all of your former loves! Awesome. He really is a dick, though. An incredible, gorgeous, intelligent dick.

    Lovely post, lovely June!


  2. Secret pooping! I think my dog did this too! Does it involve an anxious/guilty dog smile/pant & nervous glances over their shoulders as they do…that thing…

    My dog also did secret poop eating (cat, horse, & other unknown wonders). Not entirely secret of course. Tricky to hide all the evidence if you lack thumbs, poor dear.


  3. Another tissue twister here. That cat gives me heartburn, but damn he’s awesome! Getting out of the attic by pushing the stairs down?!? Dead. And so many lines in this post make me dead. And for some reason, this line is in my head — “The Old Gray Mill she ain’t what she used to be.” Gah!!!


  4. I always thought it was “chomping at the bit”… I also thought it was a flamingo dancer, I’m an idiot


  5. Oh the boys that didn’t pay attention to me were always my favorites. Sigh. Steely Dan has been fixed right? It is so crazy that he is still such a wanderer. I cannot BELIEVE he pushed down attic stairs like that!


  6. SD — I love that cat. Actually, all your cats and dogs have been wonderful in their own ways. Mr. Horkheimer was gorgeous, and so was Ruby. Frances had a memorable attitude, and Winston was just magnificent. Roger, Anderson, Henry, Lily, murderous-to-birds Iris, Lu, Edsel, and SD…I can remember the antics of all of them. I think it’s a combination of two talents. You choose great cats and dogs and you write in a way that shares their personalities.


  7. “I’d like to bang her like a screen door in a thunderstorm” is almost as good as ” I wouldn’t kick them out of bed if they ate crackers” I owned a kitty that would roam the neighborhood and only come home to eat and sleep- didn’t even use the litter box, but we moved and he stayed with my friend who watched him for me. She still roams her neighborhood and brings her gifts. This cat only has it’s back claws and can still dissect squirrels and rabbits. She takes the head off though. I love it when my friend sends me pictures.


  8. He’s probably getting canned cat food from half the neighborhood. The love ’em and leave ’em kind have a port in every storm!

    The “come home to mill around” and the “eschew” were freaking brilliant. I love your life!


  9. I follow someone on IG that has a neighborhood calico cat that comes into her house to visit. I wonder if SD does that as well. And how is he not fat with all the meals he must be getting?


  10. Since I rarely comment, here goes. The best comments have already been made, so I’ll go back to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. I looked up the lyrics and was struck by the appropriateness. Just look at the last line! Is it SD’s theme song? (Great post!!!)

    Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?
    Track twenty nine, boy you can gimme a shine
    I can afford to board a Chattanooga Choo Choo
    I’ve got my fare and just a trifle to spare
    You leave the Pennsylvania station ’bout a quarter to four
    Read a magazine and then you’re in Baltimore
    Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer
    Than to have your ham ‘n’ eggs in Carolina
    When you hear the whistle blowin’ eight to the bar
    Then you know that Tennessee is not very far
    Shovel all the coal in, gotta keep it rollin’
    Woo, woo, Chattanooga, there you are
    There’s gonna be a certain party at the station
    Satin and lace, I used to call funny face
    She’s gonna cry until I tell her that I’ll never roam


  11. “…but he wouldn’t answer my texts.” Snort! I love SD. But, it does make you nervous when you have a cat that you know is covering the neighborhood on a daily basis. I know the feeling. Cats will be cats.


  12. That cat, man. Dog skin issues are such a pain. Is it allergies, is it auto-immune, is it just dry skin? Ugh. It took us seven years to figure out that my dog was allergic to chicken, and of course, we had to buy $$ food made from rabbit. Thank goodness they came out with limited ingredient diets soon afterward, so we didn’t have to buy food at the vet anymore. The thing that was super irritating though, was that we would be looking for chicken-free food, and there would be EGG listed in the ingredients. It is probably a different protein chain, but still. Hope Eds feels better soon.


    1. How long do you think I tried to figure out what EGG stood for?! I thought it was some sort of abbreviation for something!!


            1. I used to live in Tustin! My first apartment, $450/month. I lived on Bonita right by Tustin High School. I was there when the original Jalapeños opened and it was just the one tiny store in the strip mall (instead of the entire strip mall now!). Whenever I’m in Tustin I have a real moral dilemma – Jalapeños or Rutabegorz!!


  13. “because she was too available I turned my back on her”…. I feel like I might be a Lily, I just want to be pet and have my head rubbed and my people turn their backs on me because they have homework or a project or some other such bullshit to attend to.

    SD and his adventurous self make me nervous!
    Lovely post, June


  14. Re. Edsel’s raw, red, itchy skin. I’ve been giving Luna fish oil pills. They don’t do much for her breath, and I’m pretty sure they add to her gassiness, but seem to work wonders for her skin. Just sayin’. If you do decide to try them, it takes a few weeks for the beneficial effects to become evident.


  15. “I tried to call him before I went to bed, but he wouldn’t answer my texts.” Best line ever.

    Bugg is the same way about eating and leaving. He usually doesn’t stray too far away, but on the occasion where he is gone for hours I almost have a breakdown until he comes home.


  16. The more I think about it, SD reminds me of my great grandfather. He and my great grandmother only lived together for 3 weeks of their entire marriage but managed to have 3 kids. He was out and about most of the time, but would stop home every now and then.


  17. I once had a cat like sd. He would visit one neighbor to go with her when she walked her little dog, he went to another neighbor’s house to lounge in the yard. He took a fancy to yet another neighbor who started feeding him every day, because he was convinced Harry was pregnant. I started noticing when Harry would head home that his belly swung back and forth, so I spoke to the man. When I assured him that Harry was indeed getting food at his “real” house, the man replied “Well, one can never get enough nourishment when they’re pregnant.” I told him that although Harry was probably going to pop soon , there would be no kittens, since she was a HE.

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  18. Well, of COURSE SD has to leave right after breakfast – he has breakfast waiting for him at three other houses down the street!

    I know how much June hates advice . . . but if someone WERE interested in a potential cure for red skin, itches and smelliness – we give our dogs four flaxseed oil capsules and a teaspoon of coconut oil in their food every night. It really has made a difference AND their coats are nice and shiny. This isn’t advice. Just an anecdote.


    1. We cured the itchy, smelly problem when we started making food for our dogs. We do add flax and coconut oil, so maybe that was the secret! We were trying to forestall the death from cancer… three years later, she’s still spunky!


  19. That’s why I love my dog so, he is loyal and loves me dearly. It would break my heart and wreck my nerves if he disappeared daily like SD. But then, I’ve never had a cat.


  20. Thank you for the funny this morning. And love SDS but cringe every time he goes out on his walk-about. I live on a fairly busy street and have lost 2 outdoor cats to fast drivers. No more outdoor cats for me. The most our current kitty gets out is on the screened porch and that seems to keep him happy. You look so pretty in your prom photo with SD.


    1. Oh, I know it’s dangerous out there for him. I worry. Also, I failed to mention that this weekend, I heard some horrifying noises, some thumps and so on, in the hallway. I got up my courage and went in there, only to see SD MAKING HIS WAY OUT OF THE ATTIC. He was literally leaping from the ceiling. First of all, how is he strong enough to push those steps down like that, but he’s been strong enough since he was a kitten, but second HOW DOES HE GET IN. It’s been ages since he’s done that, since Alf fixed that one grill thing, but apparently SD’s figured out another way.


      1. Wait, he pushes the steps down from the attic?! This means that you must buy both a camera for his collar, a nanny cam of sorts in the attic and one in hallway. Think of it as an investment. Who knows, what you catch on those cameras may be enough to start a Wonder Cat channel and earn zillions on advertising.


      2. This is one of my favorite posts of yours and I’ve read them all.
        Particularly loved the last line.

        Steely Dan is the shit, man.


  21. who is the reader that rushes through your post when you are running late? i think i’m now becoming the reader that whenever you speak about SD and his outside antics, i get anxious. twisting my tissue.


  22. I’m mostly commenting just to test how user-friendly this feature is. “Bang her like a screen door” is my new favorite line which I will not be sharing with DH.


  23. Way to go, June. Show us a picture of your before and during, but no after. I was waiting and waiting for one to eventually show up. Somewhat like you do with Steely. Show up, that is. Edsel: The gentleman pooper.


    1. Our terrier mix poops in the air like an accrobat, like he is lifting his leg to pee. Then he burries it in our yard like a cat. He is a weird one.


  24. I have only had one outside cat my whole life and that cat wore a watch*, I swear to God. He came home every night at 6:15 and then stayed in for the night. I have no idea what or how far he traveled during the day, but he always came home on time. When we moved (you MOVED?), I was fearful that he would try to go home to the old house (30 miles away), so I told him he had to stay inside for a few weeks/months until I was certain he knew where he lived. He seemed to consider that and just decided to become an indoor cat. Now this cat had cabin fever in our first house and could not be kept inside no matter what. Our current house has more grass, more trees, oodles more birds, squirrels and chipmunks, but he was never interested in going out. Cats KNOW.

    *My current dog has a calendar, or maybe a day planner, as she knows the days of the week and holidays, so the idea of a cat wearing a watch is not all that far afield chez H&B


  25. OTOH, my steely gray cat woke me up again this morning at 5:30* with her yowling. My husband swears she does not do this when I am on work travel, so its like SHE KNOWS when I am there and will rush into her room (yes, she has her own room, shutup) to give her whatever the eff she wants to shut the hell up!
    * also, I HATE when people say, “5:30am in the morning.” Its AM, its the morning!

    Also – love the new tag line. Will try to comment more.


  26. Is that picture on your fridge a pic of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles on their wedding day or just elegantly dressed relatives?


  27. “HE IS EVERY MAN I’VE EVER DATED.” ha! Oh, boy, he is some cat. We get constant posts about cat sightings on our neighborhood Facebook, but oddly no one ever responds. They are probably like you and realize they can’t contain the beast so they just live and let live. And hope no one finds out who the hell the cat actually “belongs” to!

    Lovely post you lovely cat lover you.


  28. I think he is around more than you think. I can’t tell you how many times we have searched for cats only to find out they were right there watching us and ignoring us the whole time. Most of the time, when I went out and did not call them, they would show up to see what I was doing. Our current cat chose to live with us. He used to belong to the neighbors. He hung around our house for a year before I even fed him. Finally, the neighbors gave up and asked us if we wanted to take ownership of him (Like we had a choice!). I refuse to worry about him when he is not around. I know he will show up eventually – he always does.The moral of the story is that cats are jerks and they do want they want to do and we have no say in the matter!


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