Woe is me: a day in the life of Felix the cat

I had my 7th graders start a creative writing assignment today about the life of their pet, from the animal’s point of view. As an example, I wrote one from Felix the cat’s perspective.

I often wonder what my cat is thinking when she does certain things. Her behavior continues to baffle me, but if I had to guess, this is what must be going through her mind on a daily basis:

6:58 a.m. My food bowl is empty. I’m going to die in this place. There is no hope for me anymore. Goodbye sweet world. Meow.

7:21 a.m. That Julia girl finally put more Meow Mix in my bowl. I crept into her bedroom while she slept and stared a hole into the side of her head until she finally woke up and fed me. I’m saved. At least until the bowl is empty again.

7:45 a.m. She’s left me again, mumbling something about “work” on her way out the door. Not sure what this “work” business is, but I don’t like it. I’d rather she just stay home with me all day and pet me to my heart’s content. Or at least until she pets me the wrong way, in which case I’ll be forced to bite her and run away.

8:36 a.m. I’ve noticed that Julia just cleaned my litter box. I’m not sure what to make of all this empty space inside the box, so I think I’ll just poop on the floor instead.

9:01 a.m. I’m ready for a nap but there’s no suitable place for me to lay. I think I will just curl up inside this tiny box that is two sizes too small.

5:01 p.m. My eight-hour nap was great but I’m not feeling too well. I think I swallowed some of my fur while I was bathing earlier. I feel the urge to throw up, but I’m not sure where I should do it. I don’t want to upset Julia. I think I will throw up in her shoes; she will appreciate that.

6:03 p.m. Julia has come home from “work.” She wasn’t happy with the gift I left in her shoes; I don’t understand how I have failed her.

10:35 p.m. Julia has abandoned me and gone to bed. There are a few kibbles gone from my food bowl since she last filled it so I’m going to have to stare at her while she’s sleeping and meow all night until she gets up and fills it again. I think I will die before she wakes.

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Felix the cat: probably the most disgusting living creature ever

I don’t understand how one cat can be so disgusting. I swear, you’d think I was the crazy cat lady who had 12 cats the way my apartment cruds up with cat grossness.

I’ll go into the bathroom, where her litter box is, and you’d think she shit all over everything just from the smell alone. She is probably the dumbest cat I’ve ever encountered; despite how clean I keep her litter box, she used to always insist on pooping over the side onto the floor. I have since reduced the likeliness of that action by finally putting a lid on the box, but she’ll still stick her butt out of the opening every once in awhile (usually after I’ve JUST CLEANED IT, so it’s litter-ally {get it? haha, litter} fresh and clean with no poop or anything in it) and poop onto the floor. And even when she does use the box like a normal cat and shits inside, she doesn’t cover it up. You know, how cats are supposed to push litter over top of everything to cover it and make it smell less and generally make it less gross? Yeah, she doesn’t do that. Instead, she’ll get out of the box and push around the puppy pad that’s on the floor (for catching those stray turds), mushing it into a big ball as if that’s accomplishing anything. Maybe she’s wiping her paws, but she needs to figure this out, because I’m tired of coming home and getting hit with a wall of poop stink, and then having to go into the bathroom and push the litter over her poop myself. Not my job, Felix. Figure it out.

I also don’t get how she can shed nearly as much as she actually does. Even in winter. Like, hello, you need that fur, don’t you? She hates being brushed but I do it as often as she’ll allow it, not that it’s really accomplishing anything, though, because she still sheds like it’s 1,000 degrees and it’s her job. I am constantly sweeping and cleaning to remove the tufts of white fur from absolutely everything in my apartment: couches, towels, all my clothes and shoes, curtains, stove tops (how does it even get up there?!), you name it, there’s probably cat hair on it at some point or another. I just don’t understand it. You would think for a cat who’s constantly licking her butt and cleaning herself she wouldn’t be anywhere close to as disgusting as she actually is.

I don’t ever want her to die but man, when that day comes, I will have so much more time for literally anything else because I won’t be constantly cleaning up after her. And my life will no longer be covered in cat hair. Until then, I guess I will continue to deal with her filth because, goddamnit, I love that cat.

She likes to sleep in the basket where I keep my sneakers. Since I've banned her from my room when I'm not home (after she threw up in my shoes), she has to find other ways to leave her grossness all over my belongings.

She likes to sleep in the basket where I keep my sneakers. Since I’ve banned her from my room when I’m not home (after she threw up in my shoes), she has to find other ways to leave her grossness all over my belongings.

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That’s it, I’m moving to the sun

I don’t know how I ever survived as  Northerner. Because I fucking hate the cold.

Even by Florida standards, winter is freezing and miserable for me and all I want to do is curl into a little warm ball under my bed covers and stay there until spring. Which is technically only a month or two away (perks of living in a warm climate state), but still, a month or two too long. My 17 years of actual winters in Pennsylvania have done nothing for me; almost 9 years of living in Florida have completely erased that.

Being cold and “surviving” through winter makes me want to do nothing but sleep or stay in bed all day. Which doesn’t bode well for me, considering I’m a (somewhat) active member of society, at least in that I have a full-time job I have to actually get out of bed to go do on a daily basis. If only my school participated in virtual classes, then I could just teach in my sweatpants from my couch. Damnit, how do I get that job? Stay focused, Julia, that is a whole other topic.

As I was saying, I can’t stand it when I can’t get warm. I absolutely hate it. In fact, even as I type these words on the keyboard, my fingers are numb and my toes have lost the feeling in them. I’ve quickly realized there are many everyday actions I’ve taken for granted when it’s warm, because when it’s cold, I hate my life.

Some things I hate when it’s cold:

Putting your bare feet on hardwood floors.

Curling up on a leather couch.

Sitting down on a toilet seat first thing in the morning.

Sitting on vinyl kitchen chairs.

Because all of these objects are freezing, and all of these actions yield less-than-pleasant feelings.

My apartment possesses all of these things.

You know what else I hate? Heating units that don’t properly warm your apartment. Instead, they warm the living room where they are located and leave every other room in this joint a walk-in freezer. Thanks a lot, wall unit.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do until spring.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer though, so maybe I’ll survive. Otherwise I’m moving to the equator. Or the sun.

winter-f-u-c-k-cold-weather-demotivational-poster-1262901961

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Pain is endurable (unless you suffer severe gastrointestinal issues, then forget about it)

It’s incredibly interesting to me (okay, maybe not incredibly interesting, but definitely interesting nonetheless) the varying degrees of pain we feel as humans and how sometimes we overcome it and other times, we simply feel like this is it, there’s no possible way our body can withstand any further pain so we might as well just give up and give in. And then the pain finally subsides and you realize it was never really as excruciating as you made it out to be in the first place. Like, for instance, when a horrible, mind-wrenching stomach pain comes on out of nowhere and you feel as if someone is twisting a serrated knife deep into your gut and won’t stop until all your insides are shredded, and then it turns out it was just a bad case of indigestion and gas pains. Er, something like that. I blame all the Mexican food I ate today.

When I was fourteen, I broke my elbow pretty terribly. It’s the only thing I’ve ever broken and (knock-on-wood) will hopefully be the only thing I ever break in my entire life. I once wrote about my experience quite sarcastically (as usual) in a writing class my freshman year of college (and maybe I will share it with you sometime, but that’s for another day, let’s stay on track, shall we?) and though I tried to add as much wit and humor as I could to it, it didn’t change the (bitter) fact that breaking my elbow was the worst pain I’ve ever had to endure up to this point in my life- physically, that is, not emotionally, if we were talking emotions I’d be here all day crying about all the pre- and post-teenage angst and depression I’ve endured the last 10+ years of my life. So, thankfully, we’re not talking about that kind of pain, because I don’t think there’d be enough room on a page or enough energy in my fingers to type it all out. Anyway.

I know I already posted this picture once before, but it's probably the only surviving photo I have of the RoboJulie 3000 robot arm.

I know I already posted this picture once before, but it’s probably the only surviving photo I have of the RoboJulie 3000 robot arm.

As I was saying, breaking my arm was the worst physical pain I’ve ever had to live through in my short 25 years of existence on this planet, and near the end of my 5-month stint trying to fix myself and willing my arm to just heal already, damnit, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Sure, by then the physical pain had worn off and the emotional pain was starting to take its toll, but even from the beginning I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, that my body would simply decide the pain was too much and say fuck it. Which it very well could have, I guess I just happened to be stronger than I thought at the time.

It just makes me wonder how our bodies can withstand the things they can withstand, and also why they don’t withstand certain other things. It makes me wonder how the whole “mind over matter” thing actually works, how your brain could possibly trick your body into thinking it feels no pain at all, or how, reversely, you can exaggerate the pain more so in your mind than it actually is in reality. I know there is an actual science behind it, one involving nerve endings and brain waves and messages sent to the epicenter that is your mind (and back), but I’m not smart enough to get into any of that, or even want to anyway. So instead I’ll just ponder and make up my own reasons and not share them with you because if you don’t mind, I think whatever was tying up my insides has finally decided to move its way down and make an appearance. Which just leads me to link you here. You’re welcome.

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I want to be as good a writer as my former self

I have not written anything decent in a long time.

Aside from this blog (which I don’t update nearly as much as I say I’m going to or know I should) and the few scattered poems I’ve scribbled down on scraps of paper here and there recently, I haven’t actually sat down and given anything my all in quite some time. And I know I have no one to blame but myself. I could sit here and make a million and one excuses as to why I’m not putting writing at the top of my list of priorities; I work too much, I’m too tired when I get home, I just want to relax and do nothing and there isn’t much time for anything else, the list could go on, but none of them would be good enough to warrant neglecting the thing that is supposed to be the thing I want someone to pay me to do one day. Which leads me to think, if it isn’t important enough to carve time out of my day for, maybe it isn’t what I really want to do…

Oh my god, I take that back. I could never actually mean that. That was a terrible prank I just played on myself.

But for real, how do you motivate yourself to do the thing you love to do when you don’t feel like doing anything at all? I have been asking myself this question for years.

In my younger days (I swear, I’m an old person already who goes to bed by 10 p.m. every night, even on the weekends; I can only imagine what it will be like when I’m actually old, and probably going to bed by 7, which makes me sympathize with old people who do that because, shit, I never realized it before but that will probably be me. But that’s a story for another time so, moving on), I could get into patterns of writing, where I would work really hard on projects for weeks, sometimes months at a time, churning out semi-awesome work in a (somewhat) timely manner and feeling pretty damn good about myself. I look back on that writing, those works of genius, with pride and jealousy. I want to be that good again, but I’m not sure how.

Part of the problem (warning: I’m about to make an excuse) is that all of that fabulous creative writing I was doing was happening while I was in college, either working part-time or not working at all. Now, as someone who works roughly 50 hours a week (with children no less, who, despite how much I love them, can be quite taxing at times) my brain is fried and my body is ready for bed by the time I get home, and all I really want to do is lay on the couch and zone out for a few minutes before I have to do it all over again.

Maybe my problem isn’t lack of time, because there are 24 usable hours in every day (and I could probably spend less time at the beach on the weekends and get shit done), but I can’t seem to find the creativity and zest for writing I once had. Whenever I sit down and do actually try and write something, either mediocrity comes to the surface or nothing comes at all.

Okay, so writer’s block. That must be it.

I do feel okay blaming this all on a prolonged stint of writer’s block.

But then how do you overcome writer’s block? Shit, I’m back to square one.

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