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Posts Tagged ‘Monkey Jane’

For the last day and a half I was subjected to the most terrible racket on planet earth. What was that? No, it wasn’t the constant door slamming as Bill worked between the entryway and the garage. It wasn’t the screeching, scraping sound as he tried to get the stubborn linoleum and glue off the concrete floor. It wasn’t even my children who kept sneaking down the steps to test out how echo-y their voices had become in the entryway sans carpet.

No. It was the horrendous mewling that came out of the mouths of our cats {specifically one cat, and while I won’t name names, it just might rhyme with Funky Mane} because we had the unbelievable gall to shut them in the laundry room for 36 hours while the grout dried and oh my holy baby jesus, you would think we had thrown them in a tar-pit full of hungry hybrid alligator sharks.

Mind you they are just fine spending time in the laundry room when the door isn’t shut, as this is where their litter box is and one of their favorite things to do is stink up my downstairs, and also Monkey has commandeered a shelf of beach towels on the utility rack as her own comfy cat nest. But such noises you have never heard after I shut them in, and my cats don’t meow for a few minutes, see the futility of it all and give up. Nonono. My cats take alternating twenty-minute shifts so that we are all highly aware of their heightened dissatisfaction at all times.

The biggest problem, for Monkey anyway, was not just that we locked her in a small room, but that we locked her in a small room with her second-most arch nemesis, Fawkes, aka: the cat we brought home for her to love and be best friends with. Bill and I got Monkey on Labor Day weekend 2002. I had just moved into a new apartment and when looking, my criteria for a new residence was not ample bathroom space, lots of storage or walk-in closets. It was that it had to allow cats. Because I am stupid. And because I had been without a real pet cat since I was 14 when our family cat, Pepsi, died of feline leukemia and all I wanted was a snuggly kitty to love and/or be my evil sidekick in taking over the world. Or, you know, both of those things.

The shelters were closed for the holiday weekend and I was devastated because I wanted a cat now! because I was pretty sure I was going to die from LACK OF CAT. So Bill, sensing my irrationality and that I would not shut up until I had a fluffy kitten in my arms, saw a flier at PetsMart for free kittens. It ended up being at this shady, old, run-down farm house that may or may not have contained a crystal meth lab about 45 minutes into rural Wisconsin. Once there, we were not entirely sure we hadn’t been duped by the free kittens poster and instead we were maybe going to be maimed, drugged or murdered, but you know me… I was all “WHATEVER “DRUG LORDS” WHERE’S MAH KITTY”.

Once upstairs in this shithole we were greeted by a woman with a bandaged hand who explained that some of the kittens “are biters” and then told us we could pick any one we wanted. This would deter most sane people but I did not happen to fall into this category at that time. Besides we couldn’t really leave as there was now a giant dog of the pit bill or rottweiler variety standing guard at the door. I picked up a couple of the kittens, wanting to rescue them all from that place and there was a male that I had pretty much decided on when Bill, who hated cats and all they stood for, came in from another room holding Monkey and said, “This is the one.” When I pointed out that Monkey was a girl and that Bill had wanted a boy cat, he shrugged and restated, “This is the one.” I took her from him, looked into her gold eyes and yup. She was it.

And for one year she was an only kitty and she was loved and petted and pampered beyond any good sense or reason. She became my mini-me, affecting my sort of mean but affectionate-when-it-suited-me personality. {It is no mystery what my spirit animal would be if I actually believed in bullshit spirit animals, for I am cat through and through.} She played honest to god fetch with her bobo-kitty. She loved boxes of every and any kind. She shared my olives with me and licked beer out of bottle caps. I was a junior in college with a heavy course-load and I also worked two jobs plus a mentorship so when the following fall rolled around, Bill and I decided to get a playmate for Monk so she wouldn’t be alone so much.

Enter Fawkes. I got her from the Humane Society and picked her for her unabashed affectionate nature and teeny-tininess. Fawkes is the exact opposite of Monkey in that she is open, loving and really, superbly, dumb as a rock. {The teeney-tininess didn’t last long either, as she quickly became the dominator of the food bowls, eating her way to almost 15 pounds by the time she was two.} I still remember the look of utter betrayal on Monkey’s face when we brought Fawksey home. Monk retreated in a fit of hisses to the crawl space in the lofted bedroom and would not come out for anything. Days later she came down but anytime the tiny kitten came near her she would hiss and throw herself under or behind the nearest piece of large furniture. It was seriously like living with a hormonal teenager. If she would have had opposable thumbs and a bedroom door there would have been major slammage and the loud playing of emo-rock tracks.

A couple of months later I rescued a third shelter cat from certain doom and if I thought Monkey hated kittens? Whoa boy. I was about to find out she hated 4-year-old torties a hell of a lot more. Bear was older and took Fawksey in as her own little pet, but her and Monkey became arch nemesises and they could never reconcile. Therein commenced a three year long battle of who could pee on the carpet the most and after trying everything short of animal psychiatrists or pet hypnosis {although we did try anti-depressents as anti-asshole medicine hasn’t been invented yet}, we turned Bear over to a no-kill animal sanctuary and this may sound ridiculous to those who aren’t partial to pets but handing that cat over was one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever had to do. I had taken responsibility for her and loved her and giving her up was my failure, not hers and let’s just blame Bill since he threatened it was either Bear or him. I called to check in on her a few months later and they reported that she had been happily adopted soon after we brought her in, so there’s that at least.

Monkey’s third  arch nemesis is, of course, Luna but it’s pretty week as far as adversaries go. I don’t know if it was that giant-ass dog that was at the crack house with her in her infancy but she handles Luna’s bundle of energy with nothing more than petty annoyance and the two share a love for the fireplace in the winter, getting closer to snuggling than her and Fawksey ever would.

So you can see after this awful existence we’ve given her, why Monkey just could not stand to be locked in the torturous laundry room for sooooo loooong. And why she serenaded us with octaves of mewling that I’m pretty sure don’t even exist in this dimension of space/time. Her life is so terribly awful. We should start some sort of fund shouldn’t we? Ever since I released her from her torment this morning, I have been waiting for her typical spiteful Poop in Undesirable Places {i.e. the kids room, my bed} but so far she has only stared me down while purposefully knocking my water glass off the nightstand, so maybe I’m getting off easy this time.

Nevertheless. In our fire escape plan Monkey is second only to the kids. I suppose it could be her winning personality, but more likely it’s that Monkey is the first thing Bill and I kept alive together. She was our practice baby, our petted-up-stink. She witnessed our path from infatuated boyfriend/girlfriend to engaged couple to newlyweds to parents twice over, taking a particular shine to Rowan. Her warm, purring body curled up next to mine gave me unimaginable comfort in the months after my dad died. When she wasn’t farting in her sleep anyway.

She’s a pet, yes, but she’s grown up with us and become part of us. And we love our Monkey Jane.

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And I have… not much to say about that. Yesterday was pretty painful to get through, but I’m so glad I made it out to celebrate Jen and Bill’s birthdays even though I had to stick to water all night in fear I would throw up all over the birthday festivities. Now usually when a Felland is not drinking on an occasion such as this, it means one of two things: 1.) She’s too hungover, or 2.) She’s pregnant. I was/am neither of those things so I felt a bit out of place all night and as you can imagine, it was hard for my family members to comprehend why or even really recognize me in this environment without a drink. My favorite quote of the night was from Jennifer {who you MIGHT remember was quite stern about not doing any shots} after her third shot:

“But you’re drinking water and not throwing up! Have a drink- WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?”

Hmmm. Now a normal human can tell the difference but it’s a little trickier with us Fellands, so when I told Jennifer that there is actually quite a big difference between a glass of ice water and a mojito, she was still a little confused so I just dropped the subject. It was really for the best.

This morning Bill was pretty much mostly dead and I’m still not feeling great so it was a very good thing the kids were with grandma and grandpa for the morning. Aside from taking Rowan to dance it’s been a slow day so I have really nothing of import to share with you and if you can’t tell by now I’m just typity-typing away here to try and stretch this thing out into a semblance of a post and oh look- three hundred words! That’s probably good enough, don’t you think?

I’m not doing so hot am I?

Quit judging me, Internet.

Monkey Jane is judging me enough for the both of you.

Laugh all you want but she's judging you too, Internet.

And now she's bored with us. I'm gonna take that as a hint to just put this post out of its misery~ Happy Saturday.

 

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You guys, my cat has figured out exactly where to go and what to do to get my attention…

WTF, Monkey?!

Hernando does NOT appreciate cat butt in his face.

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Much like Homer’s perfect game, this, my 300th post, is going to be pretty anti-climactic. For one I’m too distracted and excited about tonight when I get to go out to one of my very favorite restaurants to celebrate Bill and my sister Jen’s birthdays. It’s an authentic little Russian place where they serve many, many types of vodka. Sadly, I’m the designated driver tonight so I won’t be whooping it up but I’ll be bringing my camera and you guys? The DCFI will be there so you can just thank me in advance for all the sweet pictures I’ll be posting early Saturday morning, say…around bar close.

In other news, I have decided to dedicate this monumentous post to my cat Monkey Jane.

Do you know how many pictures I have of this feline being a Lazy McSlothypoke? One Thousand. And they are all variations of this:

To full of sloth to even close her eyes.

Or this:

Do you see how much better my life is than yours? I certainly hope so.

Anyway, within the last few weeks it seems every blogger I know has been reporting mice problems. I read with little interest of their silly concerns, wondering what the big deal was… I for one, think mice are sort of cute with their sweet pointy noses and tiny whiskers. Plus, don’t they have a reputation for helping you sew stuff when your late for balls?  What’s not to like, Internet? If Disney has taught me anything it’s that mice do your shit for you and birds sing an awesome first soprano.

To absolutely no one’s surprise but my own, Bill saw a mouse scampering across our floor and into the laundry room a few nights ago. After a half-assed search we both sort of shrugged it off because, really? We already have 2 cats and a dog, what’s adding a mouse to the mix going to hurt? Plus the hem came out of my khakis so this is really a win-win situation. Later that night when we actually started to function like grown-ups we decided that maybe we aught to get some sticky traps to try and catch the thing because it likely found refuge in our ONE closet where we put, um, all our stuff and mouse poop covering our Christmas decorations and old baby clothes is sort of undesirable.

Then you know what we did? Nothing. Because that’s how we roll. Then on Wednesday I brought the kids’ clean laundry up to their room to fold and saw something out of the corner of my eye. Part of me said “That is a toy” while the other part said “That sure looks like a dead mouse on the floor”. For reasons that I can only assume include some sort of twisted sense of self preservation, I decided to go with toy and ignore the dead mouse that laid not but 4 feet from me for 20 minutes while I folded the  laundry. Then I started to get the room ready for Keaton’s nap, already forgetting what lay there and I almost stepped on the thing.

For obvious reasons, at this point I could no longer ignore that there was in fact a dead mouse on my floor. I was sad for the little bugger but strangely proud. Clearly one of my animals actually performed their god given purpose. I was amazed! I knew immediately it wasn’t Luna because the mouse looked perfectly healthy, save for the fact that it wasn’t breathing. It had to be one of the cats.

So I decided to carry out a very scientific experiment that involved bringing each cat to the {dead} mouse and watching how they interacted with it. If they proceeded to say, snuggle with the mouse, or offer it tea and cakes, I could probably discount them as the murderer. If they flashed a gang sign before trying to bust another cap in little Whiskerpants, then I probably had the right cat. You see? Foolproof. In the end Fawkes was all YOU’RE PAYING ATTENTION TO ME! DURING THE DAY! HOW VALIDATING! PET ME! LOVE ME! Completely ignoring the dead mouse that I put her in front of.  After I placed Monkey in front of the mouse she immediately batted at it, as if to say SHIT I THOUGHT I ALREADY KILLED THIS MOUTHERFUCKER. And I knew. When she saw it was in fact still dead she did the feline equivalent of a shrug and walked away to lick her privates.

You guys, the most active things these cats have ever done in their entire 8 and 7 year existence is spread litter all over my carpet and try to murder me by tripping me down the stairs when I don’t feed them on time. Through this act they saved me the pain of having to wander around Menard’s, studying the shelves for ways to off a mouse, which to the normal person might not present such a problem but you guys? I feel bad for a noodle that doesn’t get eaten because it didn’t get to fulfill its life purpose. Actively seeking out a way to kill a mouse is a real form of psychological torture to me. So thank you, cat, thank you. But maybe next time carry the bugger out to the garage after mercilessly slaughtering it because, you know, a dead mouse in the kids’ room is sort of gross. Now I’m thinking you were maybe sending Rowan and Keaton a message. I certainly wouldn’t put it past you, Monkey Jane.

PS. Late last night we found another dead mouse in our entryway. A much smaller dead mouse. You guys? Is there a family of mice living in my closet that is currently starving because we killed their mother? FOR WE ARE MONSTERS.

PPS And because we are nothing if not highly trained purveyors of scientific fact we carried out the above experiment again. Definitive Findings: Monkey is a cold-blooded homicidal maniac.

PPPS.  So Bill and I were discussing who would do Monkey’s voice in the Lifetime movie that’s sure to come from this horrific saga and it was unanimously decided that it would have to be Janeane Garofalo. Does anyone know if she does voice work?

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Short answer as given by my doctor: “Uhhh…….”

Long answer as given by me: “And by “Uhhh” you mean…”

Fact: I am NOT a fan of family practice doctors. I understand their purpose in the grand scheme of the medical personnel system (the defensive line to keep the easily deterred off the appointment books of specialists) but to me they have proven nothing other than when you learn a little bit about a gigantic amount of things, that knowledge is essentially useless. Just give them a list of antibiotics they are allowed to prescribe and superfluous lab test they can order and VOILA! A family practice physician is born. I will admit to having very bad luck ever being properly diagnosed with anything by a family practice physician so I am one jaded mother effer when it comes to going to the doctor, but I really thought this injury would be a clear-cut thing.

Twas NOT, unfortunately. The x-ray revealed bones that were not only intact but caused the doctor, who hadn’t even looked at my foot yet, to say, “Wow, those are some great looking bones.” (Was he hitting on my metatarsals? I will admit they are pretty sexy. You know, for bones in a foot.) I could tell he thought whatever was wrong couldn’t be that bad based on the pictures, but then he looked at the giant knob of swelling, formerly known as my ankle bone, and was all “Errr…” This really instilled heaps of confidence in him for me.

He didn’t say much about tendons or ligaments but just said the damage was clearly somewhere in the soft tissue but also was concerned because there wasn’t a specific incident that brought the injury on, i.e.: rolling it, or tripping, or landing on it wrong. The swelling appears to be brought on by overuse and that means he wanted blood tests to rule out things like lyme disease, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Here is why these three are possible in my case:

Lyme disease: We live in an area that has a ridiculous overabundance of deer ticks and this medical practice knows it. You go in for anything from the common cold to a bum knee to split ends and they test you for freaking lyme disease. I think I’ve been tested 4 times in the last 10 years.

Gout: Genetic. My dad had a couple of really terrible gout flare ups in his feet when he was in his 30s and 40s. It would be extremely rare and odd for someone of my age to get it, plus I’ve heard it’s so painful that if someone even looks at your foot the wrong way you double over in pain so I really don’t think that’s it. Of course if it is, I’m going to demand Bill install a rickety porch swing for me to sit on, get a cane with a bear or eagle head carved on top and then I’m going to yell at passing children and cars because GOOD GOD if you’re going to give me an old man’s disease you better believe I’m going to play the part.

Arthritis, specifically but not limited to the rheumatoid variety: Apparently my mom and her maternal grandmother had completely random, terrible flare-ups of this the year they turned 30. (Weird, huh?) My mom’s started with a bruise on her ankle she didn’t know how she got and ended with three months of completely incapacitating swelling and pain in her ankle and knee joints. After months of testing they finally gave her steroids but by then she had permanent damage from the months of non-treatment.

Thankfully the doc I saw is at least making up for his lack of diagnosis by prescribing me a 5 day regimen of an impressive amount of steroids and anti-inflamatory pain meds to see if that will take care of the problem along with orders to stay-off, elevate and ice the ankle. Also, I’m extremely lucky to have a husband with a flexible enough team at work that allows him to work from home so I can follow these orders. That, along with help from my mother-in-law  tomorrow, and I should be guaranteed at least 2 days off the ankle to stare at the wall and drool because these pills totally put me smack dab in the middle of la-la land. It’s nice here! The leprechauns are super friendly!

Also? I’m being tended to in shifts…

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Short answer as given by my doctor: “Uhhh…….”

Long answer as given by me: “And by “Uhhh” you mean…”

Fact: I am NOT a fan of family practice doctors. I understand their purpose in the grand scheme of the medical personnel system (the defensive line to keep the easily deterred off the appointment books of specialists) but to me they have proven nothing other than when you learn a little bit about a gigantic amount of things, that knowledge is essentially useless. Just give them a list of antibiotics they are allowed to prescribe and superfluous lab test they can order and VOILA! A family practice physician is born. I will admit to having very bad luck ever being properly diagnosed with anything by a family practice physician so I am one jaded mother effer when it comes to going to the doctor, but I really thought this injury would be a clear-cut thing.

Twas NOT, unfortunately. The x-ray revealed bones that were not only intact but caused the doctor, who hadn’t even looked at my foot yet, to say, “Wow, those are some great looking bones.” (Was he hitting on my metatarsals? I will admit they are pretty sexy. You know, for bones in a foot.) I could tell he thought whatever was wrong couldn’t be that bad based on the pictures, but then he looked at the giant knob of swelling, formerly known as my ankle bone, and was all “Errr…” This really instilled heaps of confidence in him for me.

He didn’t say much about tendons or ligaments but just said the damage was clearly somewhere in the soft tissue but also was concerned because there wasn’t a specific incident that brought the injury on, i.e.: rolling it, or tripping, or landing on it wrong. The swelling appears to be brought on by overuse and that means he wanted blood tests to rule out things like lyme disease, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Here is why these three are possible in my case:

Lyme disease: We live in an area that has a ridiculous overabundance of deer ticks and this medical practice knows it. You go in for anything from the common cold to a bum knee to split ends and they test you for freaking lyme disease. I think I’ve been tested 4 times in the last 10 years.

Gout: Genetic. My dad had a couple of really terrible gout flare ups in his feet when he was in his 30s and 40s. It would be extremely rare and odd for someone of my age to get it, plus I’ve heard it’s so painful that if someone even looks at your foot the wrong way you double over in pain so I really don’t think that’s it. Of course if it is, I’m going to demand Bill install a rickety porch swing for me to sit on, get a cane with a bear or eagle head carved on top and then I’m going to yell at passing children and cars because GOOD GOD if you’re going to give me an old man’s disease you better believe I’m going to play the part.

Arthritis, specifically but not limited to the rheumatoid variety: Apparently my mom and her maternal grandmother had completely random, terrible flare-ups of this the year they turned 30. (Weird, huh?) My mom’s started with a bruise on her ankle she didn’t know how she got and ended with three months of completely incapacitating swelling and pain in her ankle and knee joints. After months of testing they finally gave her steroids but by then she had permanent damage from the months of non-treatment.

Thankfully the doc I saw is at least making up for his lack of diagnosis by prescribing me a 5 day regimen of an impressive amount of steroids and anti-inflamatory pain meds to see if that will take care of the problem along with orders to stay-off, elevate and ice the ankle. Also, I’m extremely lucky to have a husband with a flexible enough team at work that allows him to work from home so I can follow these orders. That, along with help from my mother-in-law  tomorrow, and I should be guaranteed at least 2 days off the ankle to stare at the wall and drool because these pills totally put me smack dab in the middle of la-la land. It’s nice here! The leprechauns are super friendly!

Also? I’m being tended to in shifts…

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