The Big Game

Yeah, well, so. I saw Ned again.

I KNOW.

Everything you're gonna tell me, I already know. I KNOW, okay? Goddammit.

On Friday, I went to a goodbye party for one of the Alexes, one who's actually named Alex, and it bugs her when, say, I call our coworker Tiffany "Alex." "I'm the real Alex," Alex will say. The trouble is, there were 72 Alexes there for awhile. Now they're all mostly gone. This particular Alex is moving to Colorado, which is perfect for her, all outdoorsy and hippie-ish and shit.

People come and go so quickly at work. I'm like a classic at this point, with my six years. I'm the Chanel of coworkers. Who needs to get a new joke, do you think? I'm the Tim the Toolman of jokes. "Whuuuuut?"

Anyway. That was fun, and it turns out one of Alex's friends who showed up was this whippernapper I'd talked to on OK Cupid for awhile way back in 2016, so that was kind of funny. Pretty soon I will have almost dated every man in town.

So I left that get-together, which was right after work, after an hour or so, because I had to go home and watch Edsel refuse to go outside. He hates going outside. He won't go. In fact, you're reminding me that he didn't go out last night and he hasn't gone out this morning. Hang on.

I just forced him to go out. I have to take him by the collar and make him go. "And stay out!"

Poor Edsel. I'll let you know when the Prozac kicks in.

Anyway, I got home and Ned called. "You want to go get a drink?" he asked.

You know at the beginning of the Mary Tyler Moore show, when she has the meat, and hesitates about throwing it into her cart, but she does so anyway? That was me.

We met at the controversial scene of our first date, which was not controversial at all other than it was the start of this FIVE-YEAR push-me-pull-me-llama relationship I seem to be in. We were having a fine time sitting up at the bar, which technically I hate doing, but still, we were having fun. Then this DJ started playing I Will Survive and we realized it was old-people disco night. All sorts of people our age got up and shook their groove thing, yeah yeah.

Fortunately, this bar is part of a swank hotel, so we just took our drinks and headed to the fancy lobby, and we sat there for ages–ages!!–just talk talk talking about everything, including my newest obsession. Guest starring The Love Addict and The Love Avoidant!

I mean, there I was talking to Ned, and it was like my whole insides were made of sparkles. I get all sparkly when I'm with Ned, until our NEXT AWFUL FIGHT when I feel like I'm made of silt.

So then the next day he came and got me and we went antique shopping.

Did I mention I KNOW?

We went all over looking for things, neither of us having anything particular in mind. The landlord is selling our old house, so Ned will have to move if he doesn't buy it, which he's considering. He could raise his family there.

HAHAHAHAHA

Anyway.

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Ned bought me this pictures I admired, and oh my god look at them. Why can't everything be from the mid-century? I mean, I am. And look how I turned out.

Then I'm sorry to tell you Ned bought me lunch and then that evening we may or may not have gone to that mysterious speakeasy I told you about. We drove out to the old mill that they've made into restaurants and so on, which were all closed because late, and of course there's no sign or door or anything. But then we saw two well-dressed people going through a door that looked like it led to a utility room or something, and man did we stampede for that door. Then you go down a long hall, type in the code that you have to get from Twitter, and there we were,

It was packed. But we got a table. I had a whiskey sour. I think Zelda Fitzgerald enjoyed a whiskey sour. Actually I'd dearly love to know what she drank, but I think her drink of choice may have fallen into the category of "anything."

Anyway, on Sunday I observed my pets and allegedly cleaned the house, although today it's back to looking fur-covered, so.

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I moved my free ottoman into the spare bedroom, and I read my book in there for awhile Sunday. There's one of those take-one-or-leave-one book things in our park, and I've gotten three books out of there lately that I've read. This one is by the same person who wrote Olive Kitterage, which was a very good book. How did I get fingerprints all over it? Faithful Reader Paula is dying a million deaths right now.

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I like being home with my pets, watching them be evil.

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Here's Iris, trying to intimidate Steely Dan so he gives up his delicious canned kitten food. Not that the food is made from kittens. Also, note there's Steely Dan, not giving one shit about Iris.

Being home gave me plenty of time to do this in my head: I love Ned, STOP IT. I love Ned. STOP IT.

So that was relaxing.

Oh, and speaking of Ned, NedKitty has been taking her eleven thousand medications and Ned said she is eating again and also meowed and flicked her tail. So. Woot! Livin' large. She also climbed to the top of her kitty tower–he sent me a photo.

On our antique-shopping day, we stopped off at that pretentious pet store where the woman with the butch haircut works, the one Edsel loves so bad. Anyway, we went there because Ned was looking for low-phosphate food, and you can imagine what a lightening-fast decision he made about that. That place is overwhelming as it is–they have an entire big room dedicated to just pet food and it's a lot to take in.

Fortunately, there was a woman there who had a teensy baby Goldendoodle puppy named Marvin, and the first person to ask why I didn't whip out my phone and take a photo of a stranger has to live in my chaotic brain for a month. I'll just slip you right in there and you'll have to avoid all my bouncing thoughts. Good luck.

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Last night, my coworker Austin and his wife had me and some other friends over to watch The Big Game. On both accounts I've worked on at work, we've been forced to refer to The Super Bowl as The Big Game, a thing you'll notice a lot of companies do now that I've pointed it out. Apparently The Super Bowl will call the police on your ass like my neighbor Alicia if you say The Super Bowl.

Therefore, Austin and I could not get enough of ourselves and our "big game" references.

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I had a slight fear that Austin, who is the least-obnoxious cross-fitter you know, would have all healthy food at his Big Game party. He's the guy who brings green peppers to work as a snack and does not kill himself and/or stampede for the Famous Amos in the vending machine by noon, which is what I'd do if you forced me to snack on green peppers.

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Oh, shit. Big bowl of carrots. But there was also chili and bean dip and guacamole and beer and cookies and wings. So yay. Guess what I ate all of and guess what I did not touch?

Hey, June, why are your hips in another zip code?

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Obsessed readers will recall that I am particularly enamored of Austin's old-lady wallpaper in the kitchen, a thing they keep wanting to change and then alternately loving. I'd keep it, of course, but I just put three kitchy girl pictures up in my house, so.

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Austin pointed out that if you have time to count out 60 drops, you have time to get to the store and buy a teaspoon.

I have to go. I did not see one commercial last night that I'd write home about. Which is sort of what I'm doing right now, and note me here not writing about any commercials.

I leave you with one question we came up with last night, which is: What do you not want anyone to see you eating? Austin enjoys a peanut butter sandwich dipped in milk, but only standing at the counter and when no one is looking.

You all know I eat Parmesan cheese out the green can. That'd be mine. And another friend buys butter at the grocery store and eats it like a candy bar in the parking lot.

What's yours?

Talk at you.

Jooooon

Ned sighting

I saw Ned.

Fifty-five days I've been alternately avoiding running into him or, on difficult days, hoping I do. Fifty-five days I've been obsessing, and being angry, and then missing him, then feeling determined and OH HELL THIS IS RIDICULOUS.


I was driving to work yesterday, and there's one point, right near work, where you have to get in this left-turn lane and it takes for fucking ever to turn. You could live whole lifetimes waiting to turn. I was about 12 cars back from the front, so I looked at my phone.

There was an email from Ned, addressed to both my personal mail and work.

Dun dun DUNNNNNN.

"You must have me blocked on your phone. [I did.] It's about NedKitty." Of course he didn't SAY "NedKitty," as that is not her name. But we had a deal, made long ago, that if anything ever happened with that cat, that I'd go with him for the, you know. The meeting of the maker.

"Oh, god," I said, feeling weepy about NedKitty. Girlfriend is 17. Last I'd seen her, she was getting mighty bony and not running around much. She was mostly kind of in a ball in a corner. Somebody puts NedKitty in a corner, and that somebody is the march of time. Naturally Ned had taken her to the vet, because see: Helicopter Dad/Ned's photo. Her kidneys were not doing well, last I'd heard.

So I called him. He was a wreck. "I'm taking her to the vet right now. She's not good," he said.

"Do you want me to come there?" I asked, mentally reviewing how I looked. Skirt, little sweater, boots, full makeup. Hair, not that bad. Maybe a B+.

Fat? Yes, still.

"Yes," he said.

So I did a U-turn, an illegal one, at the stupid left turn, called work to tell them and got to the vet.

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There was his car, the car I'd been worried sick about seeing for the last 55 days. I rushed in and they showed me to the room. There was Ned. And poor, oh, poor NedKitty.

She weighs 5 pounds now. She was all bones and she was in her ball, her new position of choice. "Why's her head wet?" I asked him.

"She took a shower with me." We both laughed. NedKitty loves to stand on the bathtub and stick her head under the shower. It's her thing. I was glad she was still being herself a bit.

Ned told me about all NK's symptoms, and finally the vet came in, looking grim. She wanted to run some tests on NedKitty to see "where we are" in this poor cat's decline. She took NedKitty, who went with zero fuss, and that in itself was worrying. She has a Mr. Yuck sticker on her file, with a big warning about how you need hawk gloves and a strong disposition to deal with her. And there she was, gentle as a lamb.

Ned was a mess. It was alternately bizarre and totally normal to be in there with him. Mostly I just felt like I was gonna hurl. The whole thing was upsetting.

He told me some good and some very bad things that have been going on in his life. Naturally I took time out to tell him about my dust mite allergy. Boy, did he feel stupid about his dying cat then. I also told him that Edsel was depressed without him. "Oh, no!" said Ned. "You want me to visit him?"

Oh, god. Do I? I hear all 10 of you screaming, "NOOOOOO!"

We kept it light, as light as you can keep a situation like this. I mean, he's apologized to me 700 times about that fight, sent me roses at work. And I continue to say, You can't apologize for that and have it be okay. So there was no need to rehash all that.

I told him how I watch the beer aisle at the store, and he said he has very specific times he'll go there, and he certainly never goes when he's coming from a direction that requires passing my house. "I didn't want to see your car not there and wonder where you were, or see some man's car in the driveway."

This led me to wonder how he'd determine it was a man's car. Would it be, like, a tank or something? Maybe a pickup. A pickup would have to be a man. Or a really big woman. I guess some sort of vintage sports car would definitely be a man. But let's say a Honda was in my drive. That could be anyone. Well. Not Hulk. But anyone else.

Apparently one of his friends told him I'd been on a date, so I guess in his mind I've been whooping it up all over town. Getting more chins than a Chinese phone book. I realize that's not a euphemism for having a lot of sex but I can't think of one. All I can think of is a vaguely racist joke about chins.

Also, who's sort of a little delighted that she got one of his friends to read her blog? June's blog for the WIN.

The point is, the vet came back and said IF Ned wanted to hook this cat up to an IV three times a week and IF he wanted to shoot this syringe of stuff into her mouth twice a day and IF he would give her this special food, they could keep going.

"You mean I get to take her home with me? Okay," said Ned, weeping.

Here was the inside of my head: !!!!!????!!!

But look, it's his cat and his decision. So he put her bony old self back in the carrier and off he went with $848586775 worth of medication.

So. You can judge me all you want for going. I went because I said I would, and because I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet, and because of course I could not resist seeing Ned. So how you have all the reasons. I told one friend and got The Judgement immediately, so I expect nothing less from the rest of you.

But remember. When your friend confides in you and you loft from your perch with your happy life, and offer no words of empathy or comfort or understanding, there's pretty much a 100% chance that friend won't confide in you again.

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Here was me at the end of yesterday, sort of depleted. I kind of wanted to be in a ball in a corner like NedKitty. So.

Eventfully,

June

June gets stuck on a thing

I'm trying to think of what I did all weekend that kept me from blogging. Since blogs are out, shouldn't I come up with another verb? Website-ing.

By the way, there's a woman at work who's our social person, and I don't mean she has the gift of gab and is a marvelous hostess. I mean she handles all the social media stuff. Anyway, she says I really need to, you know, get off Typepad and actually have a modern-day place to write. She said people might come here and see how dated this all is and not take me seriously.

As if anyone takes me seriously.

Another guy at work who does things like this said he'll transfer me and my freaking 10 years of blog posts over to WordPress or Squarespace or whatever for a hundred bucks.

Step one: Get a hundred bucks. But I figure I can do that fairly soon. Bake sale!

Anyway, the weekend. Did I just black out through it or something?

Hang on and I'll upload my pictures from this weekend for a little reminder.

I know I left for Raleigh soon after work Friday–nothing exciting, just had to do some stuff there. Not a date or anything cool like that. I've gotten off the OK ridiculous Cupid for now and made the decision to not date for awhile. So naturally some man harassed Edsel and me on our walk Saturday. I mean, he not only thought I was pretty, but he even said, "Nice dog," which, come on.

By the way, Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big totally had a Love Addict/Love Avoidant relationship. Not that I'm obsessed or anything. But they did. I watched reruns this weekend, for a change.

Hey! I just finally thought of something I did this weekend! Dog walk, harassment, Sex and the City, Love Addict obsessing!

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My damn pictures finally uploaded, and from this weekend, I found many, many photos of The World's Saddest Dog. Even Iris is concerned at this point. Or perhaps she's waiting for enough ennui that she can attack. Either way.

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You've no idea how many times a day he presses his head on me for hugs. You know how I feel about hugs, but I allow it from dogs. Poor Edsel. I just don't know what to do for him. He's lonely, even if he does have a rambunctious cat friend. I realize it's his fault, but he doesn't know that part.

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rambunctious cat friend

Note the holes in my snow leopard pajamas. They were among my favorites, and this was the first time I've slipped them on all winter, and holes. I have one word for you: That goddamn Lottie. I wore them one last beautiful time, then tossed them. There were holes everywhere. Have I said That goddamn Lottie yet?

Anyway, I spent a lot of time reading this weekend, and doing some writing about the Love Addict/Love Avoidant, because it's my new obsession and it's kind of nice to figure out what the FUCK is wrong with you, but here's my complaint. You read about this–what do you want to call it? Character flaw? Anyway, anything you read about it, it tells you over and over again what it IS, with very little concrete answers for what the hell you DO about it.

"Work on your self-esteem." Oh, fuck off. Okay, let me go "work" on that. Out in the garage. With my tool chest. I mean, everything I read just sort of says vague stuff like that. Probably because the real answer is, you're doomed.

"Practice self-acceptance." Oh, thanks! Clear as a bell.

Actually what they say is one thing Love Addicts can do (and "addict" is kind of a dramatic term. What it really is is an anxious attachment style, which sounds hot. Hello! I'm anxiously attached! Let's go!) is find someone who's securely attached. They said Love Avoidants never really do that, because secure people aren't interesting to them. But that the Love Addict can find a secure attachment person, which is what I did when I found Marvin.

So. There's hope. -ish.

At least I have a new hobby.

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Yesterday, when I wasn't obsessing about my disorder, I very Love Addict-ly went to The Other Copy Editor's new old bed and breakfast. I mean, it's an old house that they just got. Above is the soap in the bathroom, which I must find because it was the best-smelling soap, ever. Oh my god.

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Anyway, her husband, who is gregarious AF, of course had three friends of his own over, and that was fun, and at some point in the afternoon it dawned on me that those two are around the same ages as Chris and Lilly, and they own a business as do Chris and Lilly, and that maybe they'd all like each other.

So now I'm having them all over for dinner, even though every single person in this scenario actually knows how to cook and I do not. Also, C & L will be forever traumatized by The Edsel Incident, but they're coming over anyway. (I tried to find the old blog post for you but could not. But once, Chris and Lilly were coming for dinner, and Edsel licked the lasagna before they got here. I should have probably not blogged about that, but there you go.)

I'd better go to work and so on, but I'll talk to you tomorrow, when maybe I'll have sad pictures of Edsel to show you. Poor Edsel. I wonder if he's a Love Addict?

Obsessively,

June

Facing June Addiction

Yesterday, I got up early to go to the allergy doctor. I hurried around, and tore over there to be on time, and when I got there, right at 8:00?

They were closed.

I walked up to the door and knocked. No lights on. They'd given me paperwork, so I opened it. "8:00," it read. I left the paperwork in their mailbox in a huff, and went home, annoyed. I could SEE my workplace from the doctor's office, but I'd taken the morning off and goddammit, I was sticking with that. If you don't need half a day off three weeks after Christmas, when do you need half a day off?

At 8:30, I called there, irate. Of course I'd called before then, and got the cloying, "If this is a true medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911."

Why don't you go fuck yourself? I HATE that condescending message. And also, what's with doctor's offices not letting you leave a goddamn message? What is this, 1972?

I also hate, "Please pay close attention, as our prompts have changed." YOUR PROMPTS HAVE NOT FUCKING CHANGED. SHUT UP.

The point is, I finally got someone. "Yes," I said, because I always start these things with"Yes…" I told the woman my woes, and she looked me up on her screen.

Name? I told her.

Date of birth? I told her.

Address? OH MY GOD JUST TELL ME WHAT'S UP.

Turns out my appointment is on the 31st. …yeah. I can remember the appointment lady saying, "How about Monday?" I remember it. I don't know what happened, there. And I even said back, "I'll see you Monday, then!" as I left.

Anyway, the good news is that because I had all that extra time yesterday, I found a freelance gig. They are planning to send me work already, a thing that Faithful Reader LaUral had something to do with, so thanks, LaUral.

This is good, because money? I'm hurtin'. During my year abroad I got all my credit cards and my car paid off, which was great, then I got here and Tallulah got sick and my car broke and hello, country song. Plus all my freelance work dried up, and it kind of saddens me that one has to take extra work beyond work to make ends meet these days.

But there it is, now I have some work, so good. Because my tank is on empty and I have $60 till January 31, which by the way is the day of my doctor visit, GOD. Everyone knows that.

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In the meantime, my tenant, fmr., came over to work out again, a thing my cat, current, thoroughly enjoyed. That's why the Lily is a tramp.

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We had to put old Obssessy McStalkerson, old Fred ASTARE, old Melanie Sniffeth, in the back room, because he is incapable of letting us be while we do Tracy. He down dogs, he rolls around, he sniffs us, he–OH MY GOD EDSEL. So he had a happy new year, in jail. That's only funny if you know It's a Wonderful Life by heart, and who doesn't?

It's nice to have someone hate Tracy with me. "Geez," Tenant, fmr., will say, as Tracy robotically lifts her leg in the same way for the 59th time and looks like she could do 100 more with no problem. Do y'all remember when I made Kaye do Tracy Anderson with me and she almost real-life unfriended me? Anyway, Tenant, fmr., will be here again Wednesday and not the 31st.

I have to go. I had a deal with myself that I'd read 200 books this year, and so far I've read a really dumb Terri McMillan book, a really dumb book I got out of the little take-a-book-leave-a-book library in our park, a book I realized when I was done is a trilogy and now I have to read the rest even though dumb. And now I'm reading a relationship book. I want to keep going on that one this morning before work.

It's really weird. I found the book in my closet–my closet I hardly ever go in. It's a new book, and I'd clearly starting reading it at some point because a page is dog-eared, but I don't remember buying it and I don't remember reading one single word of it.

I even looked in my Amazon emails to see when I got it, and nothing. I showed it to Tenant, fmr., and she didn't leave it here.

Anyway, it's exactly perfect for me. It's exactly the problems I had, and there are ways to fix myself, and I was tempted to contact Ned to say, THIS BOOK IS US. HERE'S HOW WE FIX IT. But (a), we're in a no contact thing for a reason and (2) I don't think he's ready to hear it. Clearly I wasn't when I first got this book. I don't recall one word of it.

It's called Facing Love Addiction, and it talks about the Love Addict/Love Avoidant duo and how they interact with each other, and why they are the way they are and the whole time I was reading it I was all, OH MY GOD! So now I'm at the back of the book where you have to do writing exercises, which I did last night after T,f. left, till my hand hurt.

So, that's exciting. Because between you and me, I was baffled that I could get into something so intense and dramatic and on/off like that. I mean, I did that when I was 22, but I figured well, I'm 22. I had no idea I was capable of something this insane at 51. I thought I'd grown out of acting that way. But clearly I haven't. I have been ashamed, really, of how all-consuming this relationship has been. If I were my friend I'd be so sick of me by now.

So it's good to have hope that I can maybe not do this again.

I'll talk to you tomorrow, or maybe on the 31st.

Lord, make me an instrument …that doesn’t gag me

Yesterday, I had to go to the doctor, because my throat is still bothering me. Do you remember about a year and a half ago when they put me out and checked my throat because it always feels like it's CLOSING UP on me? And they were all, "You have GERD." Yeah, thanks. Looking forward to paying $900 for that.

Anyway, it's been bugging me again, so I went to a different doctor, and be sure to tell me things like, "Take Prilosec, June."

The point is, he grabbed a piece of gauze and right away I got panicky. He grabbed my tongue, and stuck that damn mirror thing in the back of my throat.

Next thing I knew, he'd flown across the floor on his little rolly chair, so fast and furiously did I put that man's arm out my mouth and shoved it across the room.

"Sorry," I said, "that makes me panicky."

We tried again.

Roll. Room. Oh my god, did I shove that man out my way.

"We're going to have to use the hooo-dee-frooo-gen-hooogan," he said, then called for his delightfully gay assistant, who had liked me when the day began.

"Is this going to be awful?" I asked, starting to get sweaty. "Well, no, I don't think so," said Delightfully Gay.

And that is when they shoved a tube into my nose with no numbing stuff. I let him do it for maybe 30 seconds before bursting into tears, the kind of tears a four-year-old would burst into. It was ridiculous. I had no idea I was gonna cry like that.

DG handed me some tissue. "Your makeup is just everywhere."

"Well, I didn't get a really good look at your larynx," the doctor said, "but I'm not worried about cancer, and I do know you have sinusitis."

So I'm on a Z-Pack and I have to go back in a week. I'm also supposed to elevate the head of my bed, a thing that last guy said didn't do any good. How Ima do that alone is beyond me. If you don't hear from me, it's because my bed collapsed on me.

When I got to work, my bra was wet, I'd been sweating so much. It was a relaxing doctor visit. They should include that looking-down-your-nose thing as an option at the spa.

In the meantime, that closed group I was on on Facebook? Had another flouncer. I referred to flouncing the other day, but if you didn't see it, it's when someone gets mad a group or a thread online, and instead of just quietly leaving, they announce they are going. A few people have done that here. "I've HAD it with you and your sinusitis, June!" they'll say, slamming the door.

Anyway, in this particular Facebook group, whenever someone flounces, people put up the most hilarious memes.

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Anyway, I got a big kick out of all those, and giggled myself silly, then quietly left the group, because really it's not that nice of a group. It was a childfree-by-choice group, which is great and all, but really it was a "I hate all women with kids, and I hate their children more" group. It wasn't supportive, it was just mean.

I was looking forward to rolling my eyes at the occasional insufferable mom, don't get me wrong. The kind who, when you announce your promotion or trip to the Netherlands or whatever, they'll say, "Magnum pooped in the potty for the first time!" Everything has to be about their kid. Those women. But I wasn't prepared to detest all mothers in the world. I mean, what about Mama Leone? She leaves those nice notes on the door.

And what about all the flowers that you planted, mama, in the back yard? She seems like a nice mother.

And you can't deny the subtle charm of Mother Teresa. So.

I gotta go. I'm running late because I sat here like an idiot watching Anderson Cooper the person not the cat argue with that Kellyanne Conair or whomever and I was riveted. Mostly I was riveted by how she had gloss on her bottom lip and not the top. "Purse your lips," I kept thinking. "Fix that shit."

But before I go, I had one of my "FINE, then" moments this week. I was throwing a ball for Steely Dan this weekend, to celebrate his neutering. I invited, I don't know, 60 people? You know how I get.

So a TON did not RSVP, and that makes me furious. Like, out of proportion to the act furious. It's just so fucking rude. But then 24 people said yes. Which, yay! But then people started changing their minds. "Oh, I forgot. I'm being made pope that day." That sort of thing.

So day before yesterday, I was at my desk, and I got three Nos in a row. Boom boom boom, all within an hour.

"FINE, then" I said, and canceled the whole thing.

It was so something my grandmother would have done.

Then I was inundated with messages. "Are you really canceling?" they'd ask, because you know how those fake cancellations are. "I was planning to come!"

Then I felt sad. All sorts of people wanted to come over, and I got all FINE, then, and I KNEW I was being all FINE, then when I did it. Whenever I feel weepy at the back of my throat, my closed throat, I know I should not make decisions. But there it is, and I'm not having a party, and I've made plans to go out that night with just one friend, and we aren't sure what we're doing other than we decided NOT a color run. So.

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My FINE, thens are really my worst trait. Well. That and this nose.

Talk at you.

FINE, then.

June

For six nights in a row

SCREEEEEEEEECH!

That's what woke me up this morning, a few minutes before my alarm: SCREEEEEEEEECH!

"That's actually coming from outside my head," I realized, and then I wondered if someone was being murdered. Exciting! "Coooo! Cooo! Cooooo!" I heard then, and right then I knew. Either Yoko Ono was gettin' some from my neighbor, Paul, (or god forbid Peg)…

or it was a bird.

June Gardens, Wildlife Expert®.

Naturally, I looked it up, asking Siri, "What kind of bird screeches, then coos?" Usually Siri is a lazy ass sack who never answers a goddamn freaking thing. The difference between my stupid useless Siri and Ned's whoever-she-is on his Samsung Galaxy is astonishing.

"When is the next full moon?" we'll both ask our phones.

"The next full moon is November 14, and it's a rare super moon," his phone will immediately say, a trifle smugly.

"I'm sorry. I could not find runcible spoon," Siri will say. Or if she does hear me, she sends me to an ARTICLE to READ. I don't have time to read. I'm a busy executive. Just fucking tell me. Siri makes everything a hassle. Siri is the Typepad of phones.

I wonder if I could be any more entitled. My PHONE, that I carry WITH me and that has all the information in the WORLD in it, that also takes pictures and can navigate for me, won't tell me what bird screeches and coos. WHO CAN LIVE THIS WAY.

The point is, it did tell me, syphilitic Siri did, and it would appear I have a Great Horned Owl in my yard.

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fuk ant joon

"Don't let the cats out," said Ned as soon as I called him, and apparently Ned and my mom have founded a Tell June the Obvious Club. Anyway, I went outside with Edsel to see if I could see him, my new hoot owl howling by my window now, as I wish to meet him and kiss him on his crabby head and maybe let him live inside, so I could be charmingly eccentric like Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life.

Do you think maybe he'll build a owl nest-y, with owl babies-ses that I can kiss and hug and pet? Soft baby owl-ses? OH MY GOD I WOULD NEVER BE SAD AGAIN. I could run around getting them owl food, because I'd be super good at hauling a couple baby bunnies up a tree. That wouldn't kill me or anything.

Look at his big owl feets. DON'T YOU LOVE HIM SO BAD? Ima name him Das Hoot.

In other news, I'm home. Hello. I unpacked right away, because the image of Faithful Reader Paula unpacking in the middle of the night because she can't rest till everything's put away made me feel guilty. Oh! And the worst thing.

I got to baggage claim and got m'pink huge bag off the thing®. I had a bottle of water with me, and as I got on the escalator, I let go of my bag to take a drink.

Ssssssssssssss FLUMP FLUMP FLUMP FLUMP FLOOMP.

My goddamn BAG fell behind me, and FLOOMPED all the way down the escalator which was thankfully empty, and slid zestfully all the way across baggage claim.

Oh my god.

I mean, what if someone had been behind me? I'd have knocked them off the escalator, too! What if I'd knocked some kid over?

As it was, a hundred million people ran to see what all the floomping was, and there I was, the only woman around for miles, and where was I, Alaska all of a sudden? "That's mine!" I waved eagerly, walking down the stairs to get my humiliated bag.

"Was that just a bag and not a person?" a frazzled airport employee ran over. Oh calm down.

"Yes, it was my bag. I dropped it," I told her, trying to act like all the cool people were doing it. I saw Steve McQueen drop his bag the exact same way in Klute.

I have no idea if Steve McQueen was even in Klute.

"You should do an ad for that bag," said a man nearby, as I retrieved my unscratched bag.

Pink Bags. Tough, But Fair®.

® is a big thing with me today.

Other than that, it's been a relatively sedate homecoming, what with crippled-up Ned and his bulging disks. He's forever raising his arm and flexing his hand and wincing and carrying on.

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Did you have something you wanted to share with the class, Ned?

 "I know you're annoyed by my pain," said Ned, as he winced and carried on.

"No, I'm not," I said, totally annoyed by his wincing and carrying on.

We went to eat last night and the restaurant was playing a duet from the '80s. "Is this a duet with Kenny Loggins?" Ned asked.

"It is. I believe it's with Stevie Nicks," I told him. I always know from what I call Saginaw songs. Like, if it's some top 40 thing from anywhere between 1974 and 1988, I know who sang it and when it was a song. My friend Dave, who also grew up in Saginaw, had a classy boyfriend from Hawaii, and whenever Dave and I were jamming out in the car to something like Hocus Pocus by Focus, the Hawaiian boyfriend would be all, "What even is this? This is a Saginaw song."

The point of my story is, I told Ned about Stevie Nicks and Kenny Loggins and then possibly went into a diatribe about how much I hate the song Leather and Lace, and then furthered my rant about how much Stevie Nicks annoys me in general.

"She's why I can't stand women with blonde hair and brown eyes," I said.

"You…what?"

"Oh, they bug me, women with blonde hair and brown eyes. And it's all Stevie Nicks's fault."

Sometimes Ned looks at me like, What on earth have I done? I was rid of her.

Blonde-haired, brown-eyed women are such a disappointment," I said. "They're the raisin cookie of women."

I suppose it was nice having you as readers, BHBEW. I will miss you all.

Imagine how the BHBEW with horseshoe haircuts must hate me.

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fuk ant june

Look, I'm a gray-haired, blue-eyed woman. Which disappoints everyone.

I'd better go. Now that I've spread all this positivity and love. I will let you know when Roddy MacOwl moves in, and which bedroom he gets, and so on. Maybe if he moves in, I can become one of those people who gets really into woodsy Native American-ish stuff, and wear pine cone earrings and a lot of turquoise and kokopelli the shit outta the whole house. Won't you enjoy my kokopelli couch and kokopelli curtains? I turned this tree log into a coffee table. Sit down and I'll make you some frybread.

SCREEECH! Coo!

June

Hurr-icane

So, it's hurricane-al here. I mean, it's raining nonstop and also hard and the park is flooded and it's blowy out and Edsel won't pee. I had to walk into the yard with him this morning, getting my pajamas wet, and stand there and force him to pee. I considered getting an umbrella for him so he'd go, but then I remembered my pride.

Heh.

The hurricaniacal weather did not stop me from gettin' my hurr done today, because hashtag perseverance. Every time I go to my hairdresser–every time!!–it's raining. I don't know what that is. But she works in this old mill

DOWN BY THE OLD MILL STREAM!

WHERE I FIRST MET YOUUUUU.

Anyway, she works in this old mill, and there's exposed brick and big ol' windows and it's a fabulous place to watch the rain. She got m'roots covered, because portrait of June-ian Gray, over here. Legend of GrayLocks, going on. If I were a tea, I'd be Earl Grey.

Once we were done, she blew me straight, and then I went outside covering my hair like a black woman. I usually don't care that much if my hurr gets wet, because hardcore tomboy, but today I did because new blowout.

How much do you wish I wouldn't say "hurr"? Who am I, Madea?

By the time I crossed the street and the parking lot, I was starting to resemble Garth, of Wayne and Garth. I was Babe-alocious. Not.

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Hurr of the dog.

I headed to PetSmart, because I needed more Steely Dan kitten food. I've been feeding him canned food and his fur is like velvet now. I stupidly didn't grab any sort of hand cart or anything, mostly because I have no idea where PetSmart puts their carts. Despite this, I loaded up on two sizes of cans, plus a bag of dry kitten food, because trying not to spend a fortune on cans so supplementing a little. It's like Hamburger Helper but for kittens. Furburger Helper.

Wait.

And at the last minute I grabbed 107 of those fur-covered mice, the cheap ones, because SD fucking loves them and they disappear and I blame Edsel, as I saw him eat one once.

The point is, they loaded the 47 cans, bag of food, and 34595934093 fur mice into one plastic bag, which was fine with me because next I had to walk to the grocery store next door. They're in the same strip mall, but it is something of a walk in the blinding wind and rain of a hurricane-ish day.

You can imagine my hurr by the time I entered the store.

I am 100% out of laundry detergent, a thing I've been out of since early this week, and tomorrow I will have to wear my teal homecoming dress from 1982 unless I do laundry tonight.

So I got some laundry stuff and headed to the self-checkout, so I could check myself out and hey, good lookin'. I'll be back to pick myself up later. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad and true. Hashtag WHAT sex in 2016.

The point of this whole story is once I bought the laundry stuff and picked up my bags?

My PetSmart bag broke into a million pieces.

Cat food cans, other cat food cans, cat food cans for days, rolled all over the grocery store. Fur mice flew in all directions. The bag fell to the ground with a FLOOMP.

Everyone ran around trying to catch all the rolling cans and bring them to me, the woman wearing her Girl Scout uniform because everything else was dirty, the woman with gigantic giant big old hurricane hurr, the woman who was clearly

A

Crazy

Cat

Lady.

And right then I knew. My transformation is complete.

Sadly. Harriedly.

June

Our Lady of Perpetual Calendars

I'm having some Greek honey yogurt with some almonds, and every time I eat Greek yogurt I feel like I'm eating just a teensy piece of Faithful Greek Reader Fay.

Look how this blog has affected my life.

When we last left off, what had I done? …Oh, walked. Right. Fucking walked. I was Walker, Texas Ranger. I was Karen Walker.

Bah.

Well, Saturday night, I decided to try a new restaurant. The woman who sits next to me, The Alex Who Sits Next To Me (TAWSNTM) is very hep. You can imagine how it delights her to be next to my cool self. "No, June, I …haven't read the Twilight books."

Anyway, she likes this one restaurant over by the one college, so I tried it. Dragged a date. An interminable date. At this point, I'm like Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. If you're 70, you'll recall the show, and she always had sort of mannequin good-looking men come get her for dates, then you'd never see them again.

I wonder what Mary Richards did wrong? Like, did she ghost on everyone after the way I do? Was she still hung up on her fiance? Remember she had a fiance, a doctor, and that's how that whole show started? We were supposed to be excited for her that she did that, and that love was all around with Murray Slaughter and a studio apartment with Phyllis as your landlord, but the whole time I was all, You scored a DOCTOR, you maroon.

My mother is shooing herself with a gun from her Phyllis Schlafly Your Daughter Didn't Turn Out Liberated Ha Ha End It Now gun collection.

Oh my god anyway. So, it looks just like a little corner bar, the restaurant does. It's a cool old building, with original glass double doors on the front. And it IS just a tiny corner bar, technically, but everything in there is adorbs.

Yes, I said adorbs.

They have mismatched bar stools ("Honey, honey, honey, you don't like my BAR STOOLS?") that are all vintage. There'll be a green tufted backed one next to a sunny orange backless. Oh, it's marvelous.

Sixties curtains.

And delicious pretentious food.

They infuse their alcohol right there, so I had a margarita made with tequila infused with strawberry and jalapeno. I also had brisket and smashed red potato and salted caramel bread pudding.

I wanted to keep eating after I was wafer-thin-mint full. I wanted to barf so I could order something else and see how THAT tasted. It was so good I can't even begin to tell you, although it looks like I have. I LOVE that place. I will go to that place all the time. And no, I will not tell you the name because I don't want it to get like Hops. Local people will know what I mean. Fucking Hops. "Oh, it's a 26-hour wait."

Then yesterday I dragged Ned to Sully. That was his punishment for making me walk to the folk festival: He had to go to a mainstream movie. And it was even at the shitty basic theater, where they, like, fly in their popcorn rather than make it on site. Ned hates that place.

I always get the nachos with the orange cheese that they pump out of something, perhaps the bowels of hell, and Ned always has 48 fits that I eat that stuff. Yesterday the theater has added a charming thing: They tell you how many calories are in their snacks.

Turns out? My nacho chips and "cheese"? 800 calories!!!

Who knew?

Ned got a small bag of popcorn and a bottle of water. Calories? 350. Fuck Ned.

It was a good movie, although we were both seriously annoyed at the 20 minutes of previews. TWENTY MINUTES. In which I managed to pretty much finish my 800 calories. But I liked the movie, because who doesn't like Tom Hanks, and also I wish to never fly again oh my god.

Do you know what I'd be good at? Air traffic control. Welcome to my cool head and composed nature.

Speaking of work, after that I had some freelance stuff to do for this place I used to work at back in the '90s. They still use me for their proofreading, and I had to proof a magnetic calendar that they send out to all their clients. Not that it has charisma, but rather that it sticks to your file cabinet or whatever.

On the back is a perpetual calendar, and I was your Lady of Perpetual Calendars yesterday, making sure when they said 1910 was the same calendar as 2007, it was true.

It was fun to proofread again. It's so soothing. You look up and three hours have passed and all you've thought of is, "Was 1997 a leap year?"

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Anyway, I was done with that, and was just sitting down to watch a Fred Astaire movie when my doorbell rang. It was already dark, and I wasn't expecting anyone. For the first time in his goddamn life, Edsel didn't bark.

"Who is it?" I asked.

Pause. "It's me." A male voice.

I deadbolted the door. "Uh-uh, you don't say 'It's me' like that. Who is this?" The voice sounded like a teenager, but still.

'It's…Sean, I guess," he said.

"I have a mean dog, I can't answer the door," I said, and the kid left.

I mean, I guess he was a kid. Guess who forgot she had a peephole?

Then after I got scared. Did you ever listen to that awful 911 tape where the woman calls 911 (hence that I called it a 911 tape) and says a strange man had just come to her door claiming to be looking for someone "and I'm an old woman, I live alone," she says BEFORE HER PHONE CLUNKS AND SHE STARTS SCREAMING?

That is what I thought of all night. I called Ned, because calling the police to say, "Someone came to my door" seemed over the top.

"You wanna stay over here?" Ned asked. So then I had the choice between staying here and letting Sean I Guess break in and kill me, or go to Ned's and try not to have sex with him, when I already resisted once and COME ON, god. Because Ned and I fought like demons when we were a couple, but then we were the world's most sexually compatible people. Sex was what we did best. It was our joint.

We were award-winning. We got the Screwlitzer.

We won the Nobel Piece Price.

We got the Good Housekeeping Squeal of Approval.

So, stay here and get murdered, or go to Ned's and have a thousand tiny deaths?

I stayed here. With Mute Fang. Who, fortunately, at least spooned me all night and for once I was glad to grab his clawed feet of Lottie gouging and wrap them closer to me. And here I am, still alive. Maybe Sean I Guess was casing the joint and he'll be back tonight.

I did bring a sledgehammer and put it next to my bed. It's like Peter Gabriel spent the night.

So that's my weekend, and I guess I'd better shower and hope that Sean I Guess doesn't Norman Bates me in there.

Relaxedly,

June

Datedly,

June

Gabrielly,

June

Okay, I'll stop

June and the lesbian kitten

Here's my problem. (I act like I have only the one.) I get bored, then I set up too much stuff in my life, then I get overwhelmed at the chaos and cut stuff out, and then I get bored again.

What the Sam Hill is wrong with me?

My job, since it changed, is overwhelming, and lately I've been working in my little hiding place in the building because OH MY GOD with people talking to me all day. Yesterday I was trying to work at my desk, and I had on my headphones, which is the universal sign for "Do not disturb" in open-floor-plan speak.

A hand waved between me and my computer screen.

It was Griff. We don't even work on the same account anymore. "What." I asked him, in my approachable way, removing my headphones resentfully.

"You know what I hate? I hate when women fish through their bags all day. I'm in line at the grocery store, and some woman is up there, 'Oh, where's my wallet?'"

Griff's funeral will be held Thursday at 2:00.

Anyway, so work is busy, and a lot of people have busy jobs so that shouldn't be such a big deal, but then also, why the fuck do I know so many people? Like, why not have two or three good friends, and cut out the riffraff? I know no one feels sorry for me, but it's a lot of upkeep, you know what I'm saying? This person is IMing me. This person is texting me. This person is emailing me, and I can't keep up with all that, plus my job, my blog comments, my Pie on the Face page, my 14 pets, my whole house-owning, plus my hobbies like sewing and church.

I think I'm more easily overwhelmed than most people. Do you feel easily overwhelmed, or is it just me?

I always get like this when I'm busy at work.

The whole time I had Lottie I felt way too overwhelmed. I mean, a puppy is a LOT. Now, a kitten? To me, that's easy. Kittens are very set it and forget it. Especially this one. She spends 21 hours a day batting her toys around. This morning, the alarm went off, and she dashed in, knocked my reading glasses off the table, and sideways spider kitty-d her way out the door. kittee see you wen she see you.

The point of my story is, the whole time Lottie was here, which was three months, I felt inches from weeping. It was too much. And then as soon as she was gone and I was over the crushing heartbreak of her absence, I thought, Well, what can I do next?

Chaos. I seem to thrive on and abhor it. What IS that? Do you do that?

Speaking of chaos, I tried to photograph the mercury that is Hazel last night.

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Oh my god. Lu say forget. I took 21 pictures of her (I just counted) and they were all like this.

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Here's one where she flopped down for half a second. She was probably thinking, "What can I do next?" the way I do.

I've been putting her food dish up unless the door is closed to her room, because four times now Edsel has gone in and eaten her kitten food, and I hope his ass gets big as a house. I hope no amount of Tracy Anderson will burn it off, and I'd like to know who wished that on me, you dick. Anyway, this morning I put a huge mess of food in her dish, thinking she could have it all day while I shut her in the room, and when I returned to her room 10 minutes later, she'd eaten the entire thing.

Which I guess is good, because she is NOT HAVING the being shut in the room thing, anyway. She'd rather be out where Iris can hiss at her.

Oh, also, I made a vet appointment for her, and of course I lied to the vet. I didn't want her to judge me. You can. But I didn't want her to. And it wasn't even the vet, it was the vet assistant answering person.

"Hi. I have to make an appointment for my new kitten," I said. "I'm June Gardens. I've been in there with Lottie, Edsel, Lily and Iris." Already I sounded crazy.

"Okay. How old would you say your kitty is?"

"Six weeks."

"Okay, six weeks. That's too young for flea meds, and too young for shots."

(It is? She's already had both.)

"Are you keeping her from the other cats?" the woman asked.

"Oh, yes," I said, as I watched her play on the floor while Iris and Lily glowered at her.

"Aren't my, um, other cats vaccinated against whatever she might have wrong anyway?" I asked.

"No," the vet person said. "They're indoor cats, so you only had them vaccinated against indoor cat issues."

See. This is why you don't lie to your vet. I didn't want to HEAR it from her that I let the cats outside. The problem with people who love animals is the people part. There's nothing more judge-y than other animal people. Probably humans who have human children are worse, but fortunately I don't have to deal with that.

A few years ago, I wrote a Purple Clover about Lily, about how she was 100% an indoor cat, and you know she really was back then, and how one day she just let herself out the screen door, as best I could guess, and had disappeared.

Some woman left a comment about what a terrible person I was. "I always remember to lock the screen door so my kitties can't get out," she smugged, and right when she called her cats her "kitties," I knew everything I needed, although I'd already been tipped off when she felt the need to leave a comment judging me as it was.

She went on about the heroic measures she takes to keep all her "kitties" safe, and all I could do was hope one day her husband unlocked the triple-locked door and escaped himself. Run, husband! Be free!

I sound way crabbier today than I actually feel.

Anyway, Hazel goes to the vet tomorrow, and I find out for sure that she's a girl, even though I'm 90% sure I'm right. She's awfully tomboy-ish, though, and I may have a little lesbian on my hands. My "kitty" is a lesbian.

Crap. I'd better go. Ima be late for work, and thank god I've injected some chaos into my day.

Overwhelmingly,

Jooooon

June survives horrific car crash, finds kitten. Story at–well, now.

I was going to hyperbole your hat off telling you about how I survived a car accident, escaping death as only June could do, but something so much more interesting has happened now.

So, on Friday afternoon, I was headed back to work after lunch, and I was at a red light when

BOOM!

this old man in a Lexis rear-ended me. Hard. I mean, the crash was. I was lookin' pretty cute that day, so…who knows.

So that was jarring. My head hit the seat rest and I chipped a tooth just a little, which, dang. Now, in LA, if it's just a fender-bender, which in the end this was…

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Scenes from a horrific crash

you just take the person's info and move along. You don't call the police. So that's what I did, and then I drove to a Ready Med, where they refused to see me ("We'd be a third party if we assisted you medically." Assholes. Aren't you supposed to PROVIDE CARE to people?), then I called the PO-lice, who yelled at me about leaving the scene.

Actually, when I was hit, there was a cop RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and he drove on. Didn't stop. I thought that was why, cause of the fender-bender rule. Which it turns out is an LA thing. HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO KNOW?

Anyway, I've spoken to Hard-at-80's insurance co. and it looks like it will not be a problem. And the good news is, I discovered in my wallet, while I was searching for my proof of INsurance, as they say here, all kinds of gift cards I've never used. So I spent yesterday using them, which was exciting. I got a vacuum cleaner, which I haven't had all year (I abuse vacuums. Fur.), a shower caddy which I left behind during my year abroad, a digital scale because I'm sorry to tell you I can't quite…see the little lines any longer, and also a Britta pitcher.

Exciting!

So yesterday when I wasn't using gift cards, I noted a stiffness in m'bones, but nothing major. I had planned to exaggerate it mightily for you but KITTEN! KITTEN STORY! USURPS ALL CRIES FOR ATTENTION!

There's a guy at work whose wife I like a lot, and not THAT way, this isn't the Penthouse Forum. I never thought it would happen to me. They invited me to this restaurant downtown, drivin' all the old men crazy, and I went, even though Ned goes there a lot. But I knew he went there on Friday a lot, because routine, and also that UNLESS HE WAS ON A DATE, he'd sit at the bar with one of his pretentious New Yorker magazines.

We sat outside, and as long as I did not go in to pee, I was good. What do you mean, no one wants to see me pee in the bushes? Of course they do.

I had a ham and brie sandwhich, WHICH WAS DELICIOUS, and ate only half because I'm so small. After dinner, it was around 10 p.m. and I was headed to this dive bar in my old year-abroad neighborhood, another Ned risk, but a slight one.

And that is when I saw him. I am the only person in America who'd see a tiny black kitten AT NIGHT, but I did. "Oh!" I said, putting my car in reverse, which I'm certain is legal and why the accidents, June?

He ran away from me at first, as do all men, till finally I got the idea to whip out some ham, and that is not a euphemism.

oh halllooooo! kitty heer! kitty say hai!

Man, that was all it took. He was starving, that little kitten was. I knocked on the door of the house he'd been near (he was on a sidewalk when I found him) but no one answered, and anyway, who lets their teensy kitten out at night when he's black and skinny?

He's the kind of little kitten who purrs when you pick him up, which was what he was doing as he bogarted my sandwich. Had he been a girl I'd have named him Mama Cass. I was holding him and trying to decide what to do when I realized, technically I was on Ned's street.

Remember that scene in Sex and the City, when Miranda is dating that hot black guy, the sports doctor, and Steve goes over there and the doctor has two scantily-clad women over? That's what I pictured Ned had going on at his house. But I worked up my courage and called.

"I have a black kitten in my car and I'm like two blocks away. Can I bring it over?"

"What are you doing with that kitten?" Ned was trepidatious, whereas I was already picturing how sweet it would be to have an all-black cat and an all-white cat such as–oh, just to throw a name out there, NedKitty.

I drove over there and Ned got NedKitty's old lady food out. NedKitty herself glowered from the dining room table, but she wasn't hissing or being a dick or anything. Mostly she just kind of pretended the problem wasn't there, sort of like her dad. "Commitment? Where do you want to have lunch?"

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See, even the paper is encouraging Ned to adopt a kitten. Cats glad to insert…something. Party animals. IT'S ALL A SIGN!

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While Johnny Cats, which is what we named him because he's the man in black, scarfed that old lady food with scary rapidity, Ned and I discussed Johnny's fate. "I'm leaving town for two weeks," he said, which I immediately assumed was due to honeymoon. What I like about myself is my ability to not catastrophize.

Turns out Ned is headed on this huge hiking vacation with his brothers, wherein they do things like hike the national parks for 800 miles a day, and that spells fun. Alternatively, you could stay home and look at kittens. Let me weigh my options, here. Then after that he has a business trip.

"I mean, I could…foster Johnny while you're gone, and then you could take him after."

You'll be stunned to hear that Ned did not commit rapidly. "Let me think about it," he said.

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This is bound to go well. In the meantime, I've asked him to look at NextDoor in his neighborhood, and I've already checked Craigslist. No one has posted anything yet about missing a very small, very hungry kitten.

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Johnny Cats is secluded in the spare room, which is where Lottie used to take her meals, and now someone's in the kitchen with Lottie, someone's in the kitchen I know-ow-ow-ow. Someone's in the kitchen with Lottie, alpha-ing her own Alpo. Edsel is a DICK about Lottie's food, and tries to take it at every turn, which already resulted in Lottie growling while she ate (I stick my hand in her bowl a LOT while she's eating, so she doesn't get aggressive with me over food), and now she has to eat just one room from Edsel and my life is chaos.

WHO FINDS A BLACK CAT AT NIGHT?

Chaos June does. That's who.