Black Forest and the feelings

It’s not even really light out yet and I’ve already had chilling adventure. For some reason I woke up early. Like, 5:30 early. Naturally I went out for a long run and did 47 planks. Hah. Yeah.

But I did get up, because what else could I do. And I said hello to Forest, my official cat®, because I was almost out of cats.

I guess I should tell that story first.

See, I found Forest a week and a half ago, see, after I’d said no, all maturelike, to adopting any of Chris and Lilly’s black kittens and after almost adopting an older cat at the shelter whose owner had up and died and left him. But in both cases I said, no. No, I have enough cats. I have MORE than enough cats. I’m good on cats. If my cat amount were one of those big thermometers they have at fundraisers, the red would go all the way to the top on cats.

So then I was out doing my cardio, see, that my trainer says I’m supposed to do, see, and there in front of me’s a little black kitten being abandoned and what was I gonna do, LEAVE him? But he was temporary till I found him a home. Temporary. Temp to perm, as one of you said and that killed me.

So then Faithful Reader Andrea said she’d take him, and she was driving many states to come get him, which seemed like a lot but she said, “Oh, hell yeah, I’ll do it. I’ll come get that ghoul cemetery kitten.” We set it up for today, Friday.

I wrote her early yesterday asking if she was planning to come here still and she didn’t answer all day and I was all, Oh good. Maybe she’s changed her mind and doesn’t know how to tell me.

But then yesterday evening she wrote. “Yes, I’m still coming,” she said.

Crap, I thought.

But then we talked about it, and she said she understood if I’d changed my mind, and then we talked about how happy he seems here, and how we both felt bad about taking him from a home he’s clearly comfortable in after his trauma and in the end I decided to keep him OH MY GOD. Like, I’d wanted to keep him but kept telling myself I couldn’t keep him and then all of a sudden there I was, saying I’d keep him.

So last night I got up in the middle of the night—and by middle of the night I mean, like, 11:00—to wash my face and do all those things, and Forest and I passed each other in the hall outside the bathroom.

“Hey,” I said, picking him up. I took him into the bathroom where the light was good and I could stare into his green-yellow eyes. “Would you like to stay here? Be my cat for real?”

Forest wriggled and fought, and I realized he thought he was getting his arse washed again, as he’d had a cling situation a few days ago that other owners of long-haired cats will feel me on.

So that sums up our official adoption procedure.

Anyway, this morning, since I got up before dawn like I’m Pa Ingalls, I ordered more kitten food online as Pa Ingalls did. I had timed Forest’s temporary food PERFECTLY but no. I also got another big litter box from the Pa Ingalls litter box collection. It looks like a tiny outhouse. Then finally I let Edsel out, and of course the regularly scheduled cats wanted to go out, too. I don’t know why I ordered a second litter box when the adult cats mostly go outside in the garden and is that bad for the garden?

But as you know, from your Big Book of June Events, if you want to call these events anymore, Forest has wanted to go out with the big cats all week. He envies their out-ness. They’re out and proud. And as we all know, he’s been out before, but I wasn’t taking any chances when he wasn’t my cat for real. But this morning I said, “OK. I’ll go out there WITH you and we’ll explore the backyard together.”

I opened the door.

And he SHOT UP the pear tree so fast you could hardly see it happening. Shot right up. Way up. Then,


like he couldn’t believe what he’d done. He couldn’t believe he’d gotten drunk and acted this way. Furthermore, NOW what?


Milhous, who enjoys walking the top ledge of the fence with one leg on the very top and one on the ledge just below—he galumphs the whole perimeter of the yard like a peg-legged pirate. It’s one of his signature moves. Anyway, the Dread Pirate Milhous, over there, ran over from pegging, fascinated. He did the SAME DAMN THING when he was young, as I recall.


So that is how I ended up standing among the rotting pears this morning, 4739404 mosquitoes feasting my cankles, getting a kitten down from a pear tree.


Anyway, that’s that and I have crossed over. I am one of you now, crazy cat people. I know three got me to the edge but four is really crossing the line, in my book.

Oh, but guess what! I hadn’t forgotten about the gravel and the metal chair, which I said I’d mention yesterday and never did. Let’s only talk about the gravel today. I’m very organized.

At the back of my backyard is a tree with, like, stones around it and gravel. There is also a driveway, as the snake shed is technically a garage. It’s where snakes park and also cars. One COULD drive the alley and park back there in or in front of the garage, neither of which I never do. The point is, they have this, like, gravel back there and in the two years I’ve lived here it’s gotten sparse. You can see the black liner they put under the gravel around the tree. And as for the driveway, a bunch of the gravel has scattered outside of the area and onto the grass, probably from Edsel running across it to get Blu.

The question is, do I try to rake it back into shape or does this just happen and every so often you have to replace? And where do you get it? I went to Lowe’s and looked in their garden section from behind my mask, and you nonmaskers aren’t kidding about how you can’t fekking breathe in them, yet with all my anxiety I still wore it because, you know, I’d rather feel anxious than kill someone.


What is the answer? Re the gravel. I really don’t know.

And finally, I had an interesting experience last night. As you know, from your Big Book of—whatever. I have my new tarot cards, and one thing they say to do to get sort of bonded and attuned to your tarot cards is to hold them up in the bathroom while they wriggle.


They say to pull a card a day and then look up that card’s meaning, then write it down and eventually you’ll see patterns and messages from the great beyond or the universe or no one or Satan, depending on your personal beliefs, over there.

Anyway yesterday I pulled the Hermit, which sounds vaguely dirty. “Go within,” said the tarot site I looked up. “And really feel your feelings.”

Now, what, now? Feel my … what, now?

So I tried. The only feelings I ever have are anger and fear. I’ve got those down pat. Those I can do.

OK, I told myself, Lady Madonna, over here, kittens at your feet. Wonder how you’ll manage to make ends meet with FOUR CATS.

OK, I told myself again. Now think. What’s a thing you have a bunch of feelings about?

Ned, I told myself. OK, what do you feel when you think of Ned?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. …Seriously, nothing. That’s not normal, right?

Work? Fear. Yeah, well, that’s your one of two emotions.

Coronavirus. Fear. Hey, there it is again. Hello, fearness, my old friend.

So, in sum, I have little to no feelings. Does everyone else? I remember a therapist asking me to describe my feelings and everything I ever said she’d say that wasn’t a feeling so I dumped her. How’s THAT feel?

This is screwed up, right?

But more important, what do I do about the gravel?


Published by


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.

67 thoughts on “Black Forest and the feelings”

  1. I truly LOL’d at your description of Milhouse’s pirate fence walk. That’s just hysterical.

    Do you have a minimum on donating for a tarot reading? Asking for poor friend.


  2. Congratulations to the newest member of the Gardens family! Forest Lawn Gardens…that’s a fine name for a cute kitten. I predict that he and Milhouse will have a great time playing together.


  3. June, maybe you have complex emotions (like a cat) that ordinary humans and therapists are oblivious to? From “Petplan UK” (I just liked the info- I am in California not the UK): “Your cat might not think and feel like a human, but she does have real, complex emotions that motivate much of her behaviour…In fact, your cat’s emotions, particularly emotions like fear and anxiety, motivate many of her snap decisions and reflexive reactions.” I like this. I have diagnosed myself as having “complex Cat emotions” instead of the usual “Anger, Fear, and Don’t Give a D@mn.”


  4. When you found Forrest and he was around 4 months old and had been dumped, all I could think of was how that matched the way you found Lu. I’m so glad we get to vicariously watch him grow up through you.
    Lovely post, pretty June.


  5. Gravel. If you don’t park there, and it’s behind the snake shed, why replace it? There. I saved you that expense. So glad Forest is staying.


  6. I repressed my feelings a great deal when I was young due to living with a tempremental and mean alcoholic. It wasn’t safe to publicly express them. When I was a teenager I kept a diary which helped keep me sane.
    I had one counselor tell me I was addicted to fear. She recommended a book called Healing The Addictive Mind. I ended up doing couples therapy with her after my individual and she said I was like her ex-husband, too serious, and he was like her, more fun. My late husband liked her, me not so much. Transference?
    I have been medicated for anxiety and depression for years. I feel less on them which is very good because my feelings could be overwhelming at times. I have known much anger and fear but I can feel joy and contentment as well.


  7. thank you June for once again making me smile with your descriptions on your internal struggles. It definitely validates my own internal voices. I love that you kept Forrest Lawn. When it fits, you needs to sits. Everyone has chimed in on gravel. Although is does go off to meet the missing socks and Tupperware lids, gravel also erodes over time (nature, who would have thought) as well as just sinking in various places.
    Barbara of the amazing special fabulous tarot reading.


  8. Yay for wiggly Forest Lawn Gardens becoming a permanent resident! I have two long hairs and feel you on the butt dangleys. My two hate to be washed, so I resort to sneaking up on them, grabbing them backwards and scrubbing like hell until they claw their way loose and disappear for several
    hours. Then the whole cycle starts again. Thank goodness that it doesn’t happen very often.


  9. Feelings. Whoa whoa whoa feelings.

    Lately, my feelings have been running between anger/rage and sadness. My beautiful Gracie Lou passed one week ago today and that’s why I’m sad. I am angry because of what He Who Must Not Be Named is doing to our country and also, my husband has been working my last nerve. And now we’re supposed to have record breaking triple digit heat for the next few days and that certainly isn’t going to help.


    1. Last December my husband and I adopted two kids that needed a family. Our new daughter, Gracie informed me when she first moved in that she needed a nickname. I started calling her Gracie Lou. She’s a weird quirky kid but she makes my life brighter and lighter. The name must be special.

      I’m so sorry about your Gracie Lou.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Gracie Lou was also very quirky. And weird. She was a weird-ass dog but she brought so much joy to our lives. Joy and A LOT of fluff that we will probably never be able to fully eradicate. And that’s okay because it means there’s a little bit of Gracie Lou that will be around forever.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely post Coot.
    Congratulations on your new catten. Just so you know my friend told me that black cats are good luck and if one finds you that means you are going to have really good luck. Of course, she told me that while trying to convince me we needed to adopt a black cat.

    As for the gravel drive. You might be able to get oyster shells instead of gravel or asphalt grindings cheaper.

    Ah, government cheese makes the best mac and cheese.

    Feelings, whoa, oh, oh, feelings
    Whoa, oh, oh, feel it again in my arms…
    I wake up happy, I spend my day content and then I watch the news and I feel fear, anger, confusion and sad.


  11. Will Forest someday say, “mama always said life is like an extra litter box full of chocolate.”? Congrats on officially crossing the line to being a cat woman. I do think you need about a dozen more to technically qualify. Forest is a lucky cat.

    No idea on gravel. I handle the indoor house stuff, not terribly well mind you. Coach handles the yard. If I may be so bold, not terribly well either. Why the phone not ringing for a photo shoot from ‘Better Homes and Gardens’?

    Have a good weekend with your furry friends and hopefully zero fear emotions.


  12. I have 7 cats and 5 ferrets. Welcome!

    I love Forest and all the kitten shenanigans. Little boneheads.

    You’re like that family who has 3 nearly adult children and then WHOOPS! A baby. Then another. (But hey. I’m all for as many animals as you can sustain. And you have two young ‘uns now which shouldn’t cost much.)

    Fear and anger are supposedly masks for other feelings underneath. But ya. That’s therapy for you.


    1. My best friend has 4 sons. The oldest and the youngest are 21 years apart, and the 2 youngest are 12 years apart. Yes, #4 was a total WHOOPS! She also has 3 dogs, 6 birds and several reptiles. No cats, though. But the day’s not over yet.


  13. Kismet.
    You were in the right place at the right time, Forest fits in perfectly with the kids and he’s making you happy.
    Yep, definitely kismet.
    Pirate Milhous and Lady Madonna had me cackling.
    Also Paula’s comment.
    Now I have to google government cheese.


  14. Speaking of gravel, it is past time to replace ours at it also went the way of wayward gravel. Does it sneak off in the middle of the night to join other runaway gravel for rock and roll parties?

    I imagine you have more emotions than anger and fear although they are strong emotions. Remember your profound relief when the tests showed Edsel has a beautiful heart and your happiness when Andrea agreed that Forest should remain with his buddies in the Garden family? Thank you, Andrea, for understanding and may you find another cat that needs a loving home.


  15. You are a great writer, I feel your feels. Thank you for getting up early and sharing with us each and every day that you do.

    Congratulations on the adoption of your very own Black Forest (cake) Lawn. Both are equally sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ok. Yes on Forest. I am so glad he is staying! Thrilled!

    Gravel? Yep – replace. Should be a store nearby that sells gravel, stones, etc.

    Feelings?? I have too many. I was “diagnosed” as an empath. I cry at any given moment. It’s completely annoying. I wish I lacked emotion because I have too many. Blech.


  17. Just here to also say you should have a gravel company near you that will deliver. Then you’ll need to rake. And let me tell you, that is cardio and an upper body workout. Your trainer will be pleased. Wear gloves. Otherwise, blisters.

    I’m glad you decided to keep pretty Forest Lawn. You have a colorful array of cats now.


  18. “GHOUL, CEMETERY CAT!” That kills me. My daughter has a cat that was born on October 13, a Friday, and she named him Binx. I missed the story on how Forest got his name but it does not belie his cool and spooky origin story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forest Lawn. There are many cemeteries named Forest Lawn. In fact, a faithful reader with whom I went to elementary school took a picture of our hometown Forest Lawn and sent it to me. We kibitzed for awhile before I said, Wait. Did you DRIVE OUT to Forest Lawn just to take this photo for me and she was all, yeah. June. Sending people to cemeteries since 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Southern California is crawling with Forest Lawn cemeteries. Forest Lawn Long Beach has one of the most beautiful, albeit creepy, mausoleums. It has a Foucault Pendulum, which is pretty cool.

        Also, WordPress is being a dick and making me sign in each and every time if I want to leave a comment even though it’s not supposed to do that so I’m telling Mom.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m glad you’re keeping Forest. I was anticipating that Forest would be sad wondering where his family had gone. I am annoying myself because I am now imagining a cat’s feelings in a situation that hasn’t happened.


  20. I’m so glad he gets to stay with someone who really wants him after his rough start to life. Didn’t you try to adopt a black cat at one point when you were at the shelter but they were on hold because it was near Halloween and (other) people are stupid so the shelter had to make that decision for them?
    I haven’t commented recently because life has been chaos – it seemed busy before but now I yearn for those days but I’m here reading when I can and enjoying your words. I know that’s not a huge concern to you but on low comment days, us flakes are out here, just usually reading while standing in socially distanced lines that are 47 miles long because some people understand the 6 ft rule and others, well, there’s just the others.

    Lovely post, pretty June. Welcome to kittenhood again. If it’s anything like puppyhood, you’ll be seeing more of that 5a.m. clock.


    1. Kittenhood is easier. And no, I didn’t try to adopt one, but I was there for whatever reason and they had all the black cats in one room together because it was Halloween. It was quite a sight.


  21. Hooray for Forest beong one of the big cats going outdoors! No more longing looks from the laundry window. I was hoping Milhous would go up the pear tree and show Forest how to get down, but it sounds like he didn’t need his help.


  22. Forest will be a lovely addition to your animal collection.

    We have a very fat cat named Dixie who looks very similar to Lily. Dixie has shorter hair but they are a similar loaf shape.

    Dixie likes to peg-leg across the top of the fence like Mil, dragging her belly fat as she walks. It’s not pretty. She doesn’t get to go outside right now because she’s grounded. The last time we let her out she jumped off the fence to the outside world and was gone for 2 hours.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Forest is a lucky little kitty. He and Milhous will be great partners (in crime). Yesterday, I was in line waiting to return an item at Lowe’s and I thought I was going to pass out with that mask on, there was little A/C being felt and my face got really hot and I couldn’t breathe, I just had to take my mask off for a few seconds (sorry other people in the building). It’s really hot and humid here and that didn’t help the mask situation at all, it’s hard to breathe without the mask right now and there’s an air quality alert for my area. I’m off to the garden to enjoy the air quality alert.


      1. I was in a store the other day and it was freezing, actually the mask helped with the meat locker conditions.


    1. About 2 weeks ago I had to go to a Safelight to get my cracked windshield replaced (“Safelight repair, Safelight replace”). They told me it would take about an hour and a half so I just stayed there. The A/C in the office was broken so it was 91′ INSIDE. And you had to wear a mask. Outside was even hotter and super humid. I ended up being there for nearly 4 hours. In sweltering heat. Wearing a mask the entire time. It sucked but getting Covid sucks even worse.


  24. First of all, do not speak to me of gravel, stones, mulch or any of those things that I feel should be PERMANENT; should not have to be replaced EVER. Where the HELL does it go? Vacation? Gets a better offer in another yard and relocates? Parents aren’t well and need assistance? WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL? That, similar to a three foot flame, BURNS MY ASS. Lu annoy.

    Feelings: Anger. Disappointment. Regret. Resentment. Oh, I am FUN FUN FUN to be around. I want to have a sunny disposition; I want to wake up and be grateful for everything and the start of a new day. I truly want that. But every morning I wake up and think, “Oh God, no.” This is ridiculous behavior because I’m not waking up in a repurposed appliance box under a bridge. I’m not wearing gloves with no fingers. I don’t have to eat government cheese. (What is government cheese anyway? It sounds hideous.) I’m not wearing a barrel. So why do I spend my life being annoyed and disappointed? TELL ME TAROT CARDS, TELL ME. I may need to get the Tarot Cards and Tarot Cards For Idiots book for this alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. June, you definitely have more feelings than just fear and anger because you alluded to them in your description of keeping Forest. In my not-at-all professional opinion, recognizing and identifying feelings has everything to do with temperament. Some personality types are completely in touch with every feeling at every moment they are feeling it and can describe them with accuracy (in the hopes you’ll listen). Others, feel the same feelings but don’t spend as much time labeling or considering them until a point of reflection sometime later. Some don’t assign an emotion to every little aspect of life. Alllllll that is to say that it seems like the goal of mental health is for everybody to be in category one, but in reality, not all temperaments need/want that.
    Well, it turns out I had a lot of thoughts on feelings. Bah!
    Forest is a cutie, and I’m sure he can feeeeel the loooooove toniiiiight. BOOM.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ooo, ooo – I can answer the gravel question! Simply Whispers! No – kidding, it’s Southern Aggregates in Staley, NC. They have the multi-colored gravel in aquariums and will bring it by the truck load.


  27. Identifying feelings is hard for me. Am I angry, sad, hurt? I don’t know. Having grown up being told I don’t feel what I think I feel (you’re not hungry! You’re not thirsty! You’re not upset!), it’s taken years for me to even admit to having feelings.

    These pandemic days definitely make it worse, where “it” equals almost everything. Like you, I am not going out, and I’m feeling the strain. Hey, that’s it! I’m FEELING the strain!

    So happy for you and Forest. It’s a good match.


  28. I’m so pleased Forest will live in the Gardens home!

    Yes, you need to replace gravel periodically. Search for a gravel company near you. Sometimes they are called a dirt and gravel company. They will be able to help you determine the amount of gravel you need based on the length and depth needed to fill in. They will deliver it and sometimes they will move and spread it for an extra charge.


    1. Oooo, diamonds! Will they spread like pink diamonds in the driveway? Wouldn’t that be pretty?! What about candy-colored gravel? Is there such a thing? What about the candy-colored clown they call the sandman? Am I having a manic episode?


      1. My next door neighbors have a tumbled glass walkway around to their hose and gate. While it’s not slice-your-foot-open sharp, it’s not exactly comfy underfoot either. Their color which I call White Wine Bottle (olive green) blends in well with the landscaping, but would not meet your criteria of candy-colored.


      2. If you don’t drive on it regularly, there’s a company who sells sea glass by the pound that’s been tumbled. It’s a gorgeous walkway look but pricey and can’t handle the weight of a car.


          1. Yep, it’s a company out of either CA or OR – either way, West Coast. I think they probably get it from the sea glass beach out there. I’ll find the name when I get back. I’ve used them for table scatter for events. They ship to the East Coast via pallet if you need a hefty amount so it takes a couple of weeks.


Comments are closed.