The Haunted Cat Butt

Sometimes I have to travel for work. It isn’t often, but I try to make the most of it when I go places. My latest trip was to Chicago, IL. We were attending the big National Restaurant Association show and manning our booth. I was so pleased when someone said the hotel we were staying in was haunted. I did my research, but I didn’t find much online about the type of haunting or why —– someone told me a bunch of people died in a fire there, but I couldn’t confirm the information. Still, I was hopeful I might spot a ghost or two.

Blog One

The thing is… I don’t believe in ghosts such as they are portrayed on TV or the movies. However, I have had experience with a couple of spirits passing from this realm to the next. (That is a story for another time.) That withstanding, I try to keep an open mind. So as soon as I got to my room I invited any stray ghosts to come in for a visit. Alas, all was quiet that evening, not a peep from the underworld.

Skell

The next morning, I woke up fairly early so I could jump on a treadmill before a full day of meetings. The workout room was at the very top of the hotel, Floor 25. I think that must have been where the famous now defunct Tip Top Tap Lounge used to be in the 1940’s. The elevator only went up to the 24th floor, so I had to take the stairs to get to the 25th.   I considered the flight of stairs to be a decent warm-up.

I got a little excited when I opened the door to the stairwell and stepped in because I immediately smelled smoke. It got stronger as I moved toward the stairs. I remembered the story about people dying in a hotel fire and thought this might be some sort of supernatural smoke and I might actually see a ghost. As I rounded the corner, I could see tendrils of smoke and the smell was quite strong. Then it happened —I saw them— two people squatting on the steps grabbing a smoke because all the rooms are non-smoking of course.

Blog two

Bummer. No ghosts and no ghost smoke. So I made my way to the workout room quite disappointed, but I was determined not to give up.

The next day I had a bit of hope that the ghost hunt was not lost. I kept hearing someone or something screaming in my bathroom. I thought to myself, “Hmmm, maybe my room isn’t haunted, but perhaps the bathroom is. After all, the toilet is pretty ancient looking.”

After a few flushes, I conceded that it was just the pipes protesting me flushing multiple times. Another disappointment.

So I got dressed and took a photo to text to my husband. He likes to make sure I dress properly. I have a tendency to put my clothes on inside out. When he saw the photo he freaked out, but I’m not sure why. I had everything on the correct way, so off to the show I went.

bed pic

After a long day of working the show, I was pretty tired so I crawled into bed and was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I didn’t have any energy left to commune with the ghosts (except for the one in the bathroom. It screamed again.) I thought I was going to sleep straight through the night, but I didn’t. At about 3:00 AM I heard a weird sound coming from outside my window. I was so out of it, I assumed someone was just walking by on the street. But then my brain chimed in and said that could not be because I was on the 18th floor. Shit! I popped out of bed and pulled back the curtains hoping to see some sort of apparition floating out there. Nope. Just a really weird guy climbing the fire escape. I’m not sure how he got on the fire escape or why he was climbing it, but he was going for it. People in Chicago have some pretty strange workout routines.

Blog 4

Well, I have to say my quest for a haunted hotel is still unsatisfied.   The Warwick was an OKAY hotel and if you have a chance to stay there, the staff is exceptionally nice. I can’t say that about the paranormal entities though because they never made my acquaintance.

staff

Maybe another opportunity will come my way.

Cheers until next time.

Blog 5

 

The Evil Thing I Did Over Christmas Break

I think I have a problem. A blog problem. I write more blogs than I post. For instance, I had a great blog ready to go about my adventure with nose surgery, but I never actually posted it. However, in this case, that might be a good thing. It was kind of gross.

Maybe I will have more success posting this bit of musings. I thought about recapping 2016, but everyone does that, so I’ll just read their blogs to get my yearend-rewind fix. But I have to write about something, right? How about “The Evil Thing I Did Over Christmas Break”? How does that sound?

Snow Man Evil

Like a lot of people, I go home for the holidays. Texas is my home. (Yee Haw!) I’ve got a fantastic family; they are wonderful people, especially my mom. She is a deeply devout Catholic who cares more about other people than she does about herself. She’s a great lady, but she has one fault that I, like the wonderful daughter I am, exploit just for fun. Her fault is that she takes everything I say too seriously. So what else am I going to do but have some fun with it. After all, it’s Christmas and I’m the ghost of Christmas guffaws.

The harassment of my mother isn’t a new thing, so you would think she would get wise to my evil antics. In years past, I’ve teased her with outlandish religious views, oppositional political opinions, and dozens of other ideas that have made her face twist and contort in disbelief. She probably adds another 10 Hail Mary’s to her daily devotional after each of my visits. (Tip: 10 Hail Mary’s is not nearly enough)

"A few more Hail Mary's would have seen you upgraded to premium-heaven."

“A few more Hail Mary’s would have seen you upgraded to premium-heaven.”

This year, I made the profound statement, “I just don’t understand why people have kids.” You should have seen her face. I knew I had a winner and the fun began.

Mom tried so hard to convince me that people have children for a good reason. My deeply Christian mother even concocted a lie in order to convince me. Now that is serious dedication! After a series of unsuccessful attempts at convincing me my way of thinking was warped, she said,

“Karen, let me tell you a true story. There was a family who had 12 kids. Do you know who the twelfth child was? Albert Einstein,” she said with all the sincerity she could muster. She continued, “If they had not had kids, or stopped at one, then the world would have never known the greatness of Einstein.” She said this with a convincing and imploring expression. Earnestness was oozing from her pores.

Me being the ass that I am said, “So you are saying people should keep popping out kids until they get a “good one” even if the others are duds?” My mom’s jaw dropped in exasperation. Then my husband chimed in, which is always a good thing. He had been sitting at the end of the table suppressing his laughter at our crazy conversation for the past hour until he couldn’t stand it anymore and said, “Actually, Einstein had one sister and no brothers.”

I looked at my mom and said, “You lied?” I blinked a few times for dramatic emphasis and tried to look shocked. She looked away sheepishly, “Well, I was just trying to make a point.”

We are Family

We are Family

I’m not going to say that I won and she lost. I think we both had a good time with the subject. I might have been enjoying it a little more though. For that, I have a feeling Mom might dedicate a few more prayers for my twisted little soul, which I will gladly accept. You can never have too many prayers, especially when my mom is doing the praying.

For the record, I really do know why people have children. I think parents who want children, nurture them, and teach them how to be good human beings are some of the luckiest people in the world and so are their kids. To be responsible for another human life is an important job, a hard job and not something that should be undertaken lightly. It isn’t for everyone, especially me. I’ve never had that driving maternal instinct. I’ve actually been called selfish because of this. Perhaps that is true to some extent, or maybe I’m defective, or maybe I was meant to experience life from an alternative point-of-view. I also think it takes courage for people to recognize when they aren’t meant experience something as wonderful as parenting. Just because I could have been a parent doesn’t mean I should have had children. A lot of people don’t understand. I know I’m missing out on something very special, but I’m OK with that. There are people around me who have children and doing a wonderful job with their kids and I am truly amazed by their attention and dedication to those little human beings. I think children are fantastic, imaginative, and almost magical. They remind us why we try so hard to be better people.

Please keep in mind that my non-maternal disposition doesn’t make me evil; however, messing with my mom might mean I’m a little on the demented side.

I know I shouldn’t tease her like that, but it is such good fun. Mom, I know you read my blogs sometimes, so here’s one bit of advice – please don’t take me so seriously – I’m really not as nutty as you think I am. Anyway, you should focus more on my sister; she thinks she is an alien (the gray kind, not the green ones).

Alien Sister

We sort of look alike

 

Happy New Year to All. I hope 2017 is good to you. What kind of cat butts will we find in the year to come?

My Own Super Power

I knew it would happen eventually; it was just a matter of time.  I finally have my very own superpower. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I was destined to have some sort of super human ability. I fantasized about breathing under water like Mark Harris, the main character in a 1970’s TV show called Man From Atlantis.

Or flying through the sky like the Flying Nun.

(I think I just dated myself with those two references). As time went on, I discovered there were many more superpowers to be had thanks to comics and movies. The X-men came along and I had a hard time choosing if I wanted to control the weather, shoot fire from my fingertips, or travel inter-dimensionally. I knew I was destined for something special one day.

And now that day has come. No, my power is not quite as exotic as razor claws and regeneration abilities, besides, I have more of a Deadpool type of personality.

Wolverine and Deadpool

My heros

However, my power is nothing to sneeze at. I have acquired the ability to heat my body to scorching levels no mere human could possibly tolerate. They say a lot of women my age get this power, but truly, I think I have something exceptional going on. I can generate enough heat to maintain a small city indefinitely. The only drawback is that I have not learned how to control my powers yet. This causes a few problems. For instance, when I am lying in bed and I feel the heat revving up, I have to quickly throw back the covers and start fanning myself for fear that the bed might catch on fire. My poor husband is forever burning his hand whenever he tries to roll me over. (According to him, I have a second superpower – Super Sonic Snoring.)

Spill

Still, my new found power has some perks. Chilly grocery stores are no longer a problem for me, even after coming into the store drenched from a rainstorm. I can breeze down the aisles without a chill while others are shivering, especially in the frozen food section. Sometimes I generate so much heat I am afraid I might combust right there in the checkout lane. So I’ll stand in the frozen vegetable aisle with two doors wide open and contemplate climbing in, you know, just for a minute to ensure the other shoppers will be safe from the impending wave of heat my body is about to unleash. I might damage some of the frozen goods while doing this, but it is a small price to pay for keeping everyone safe.

Spill

OOPs. It happens.

I’m trying to figure out how to use my superpower after I learn how to control it. Perhaps I can save people from the chilly night air by offering my services as a human patio heater. I may not be as tall as a traditional patio heater, but I’m mobile. I can move around from table to table to make sure everyone stays warm.

super karen

A good use for my superpower

I’m also quite chatty after a few glasses of wine. Did I mention wine tends to jump start my heating abilities? (Note: I accept white and red as payment for my time)

I also need to think up a superhero name for myself. So far I’ve come up with Lava Lady, Caliente Gal, and Ignita Woman.  I need to do some more work on my super identity and perhaps a costume. Ahhh, Life! The fun you present me with!

Thanks for reading.

Heads up.  The title of the book I’m working on is “Don’t Drink the Coffee”. It’s a GMO thriller.

Chow for now,

Karen

A Tattoo, A Cat, and Pure Weirdness

I know it has been a long time since my last blog. It’s been just about eight months. My last blog was about losing my little cat Zoey. So much has happened in that time. Something in me changed the day I lost her. And I continue to change as the days pass by. This isn’t good or bad. It just is.

So not to keep you in suspense, here are some highlights that border on pure weirdness, cosmic karma, and yes, it could even be divine intervention. That’s a lot, right? Several weeks after Zoey died, I was still begging God to bring her back to me. Hopefully not like Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery scenario, but I was willing to negotiate (that’s how f’d up I was).

StephenKingPetSematary

Book Cover (another bizarre coincidence?)

God didn’t exactly comply with my request, but gave me a sort of compromise, which was pretty cool I thought. A little stray kitty was found in our neighborhood and she needed a place to stay while the rescue group looked for her people. She looked just like Zoey, so I knew I had to volunteer to keep her while the search went on. From the photos, I knew she was similar in appearance, but the number of similarities were surreal.

Here’s a list:

  • Small frame, long fur, grey coat with bright green eyes
  • Female, 8 years old – give or take a few months difference
  • Loves the outdoors (on a leash now)
  • Sits in the bathroom while I go (yes, that’s TMI, but it’s true)
ZOEYASH

Very similar, yet very different

We tried to find her owners, but we could not, nor did she have a chip. Fortunately, she happily agreed to stay with us. So, we named her Ash Cat and she has fit in quite well with my other two kitties, Cally and Indy. I suspect my other cats miss Zoey just as much as I do  and were happy to see little Ash Cat join the family. Ash Cat has been a great addition to the craziness only a house of cats can have. She brought her own little bit of weirdness into the house. She isn’t a replacement for Zoey, but more of a catalyst for memories of Zoey. When I look at her, I remember certain things or past experiences that Zoey and I shared. Sometimes the memories make me cry, but most of the time I just smile and give thanks that I had her in my life and now I have a strange little cat who looks like her. Even though my cats bring me all kinds of smiles every day, I still miss my Zoey like crazy.

Maybe I’m nuts. My husband certainly thinks I am. He has good reason, I suppose. I wear a necklace with a small bit of Zoey’s ashes around my neck. I got a tattoo with Zoey’s image on the calf of my left leg. This way, when I look down, I will always have her near me, as if she is sitting there waiting for me to stroke her fur.

She will always be with me

She will always be with me

I still talk to her. I think her little cat spirit is still hanging out with me. I know it’s weird. I think so too, but I still do it because it feels right. I’ve lost pets before, but this is very different. Zoey and I are stuck together in a bond that transcends the physical limits of this world. And you know what? I like it. As I said, I’ve been going through some changes. That’s why I haven’t been writing as much, but I am ready to get back in the groove of writing again.

The short story I’ve been working on has turned into a novella of sorts. It’s kind of weird. It’s about coffee, of all things. Could there be zombies involved?

coffe

Perhaps. Going forward, I’m going to blog about more than my cats. I promise. Maybe I will write about my writing, or maybe I will write about doing yoga while trying to fend off a bad case of gas. That, my friends, is a toot of a story.

Until next time,

Karen

Losing Zoey

Zoe_brightI’m sitting here nose to nose with my little gray cat.
She breathes in; I breathe in.
She breathes out, I breathe out.
We are breathing the same air, and feeling completely connected.

You may think it is strange to say this about an animal, a little cat. But you have to understand something. Zoey, my tiny kitty, is dying. She is only nine years old, but her small body is betraying her. It is betraying me. I am losing her.

Her little moist nose presses gently against mine.
We breathe. I try to give her my energy. I try to sustain her.
She closes her eyes and offers the tiniest of purrs as thanks.

The tumor compressing her heart and lungs is too big and too complex for the doctors to remove. They tried. Zoey spent six days in the hospital. The surgeon tried to help her, but in the end, he could not do it.

She looks content at she breathes.
I smile even though my heart is breaking.
I bury my face in her fur and inhale deeply. How much of her can I keep? Can I breathe in enough of her to keep her with me forever?

The doctor told me she was terminal. Before her surgery, he asked if I wanted her to be euthanized if the tumor could not be removed. I think I screamed, “No! No! No! Don’t kill my kitty.” I could not let her go, not without a little more time. We need more time.

She is with me now. We are together.
Her fur smells like warm sugar cookies and cinnamon.
Her soft purrs warm the very core of my soul.
I smile. I cry. We breathe.
We breathe together.

The tumor is causing fluid to accumulate in her chest. Eventually, within days, the fluid will either need to be drained, or she will start to struggle for air. The procedure to drain the fluid is not complicated, but it takes a toll on her small, frail body. I can’t put her through that again and again. As much as I want her with me, I want her to be happy, content, comfortable and loved. I know she wants the same thing. No more procedures, just love, warmth, and kisses.

I feel her, as we breathe together. We are bonded, she and I.
Knowing that she will no longer be with me is tearing and shredding my heart.
An emptiness made from pure despair is trying to pull me under.
The world has turned sideways. Everything is colorless. I don’t hear music, I don’t hear laughter.  
I see nothing, nothing at all………until I look at her once more.
And we breathe.

She is asleep now. Her little chest is rising and falling rhythmically. There’s no sign of struggle or distress. She is good for now. Maybe God will hear me. Maybe God will grant a small miracle for a tiny gray cat. Yes, I’m asking. I’m begging. God, please heal my little Zoey. We are so good together.

Cheek to fur and fur to cheek. We breathe. We breathe. We breathe.

Zoey and Cally

 

Those “I’ll Never Tell” Cat Butt Moments


Picture this – You are cleaning out your purse or wallet and you come across a hidden pocket that you rarely use. You dip your fingers into it and pull out two lotto tickets. At first you feel kind of good. You have an extra chance to win buckets of money. Who doesn’t love buckets of money? Then you take a good look at the tickets and realize they are over a year old. Shit. That sucks.
Holy Shit
So what do you do?
Do you:
1. Check them to see if you missed out winning millions of dollars?
2. Do you give them to your spouse and tell him or her to look because you need to know but you can’t bear to look yourself?
3. Do you toss them into the garbage without looking and tell yourself that they weren’t winners because you never win? Besides, you wouldn’t want to know anyway. If they were winners, you would just die of… well… you would just die.

You guessed it; this happened to me. I have a party purse I don’t use very often and I was cleaning it out when I happened upon a small zippered compartment I forgot about. Low and behold, two lotto tickets, one Mega Millions and one PowerBall were tucked inside. Yes, they were very expired. So what do you think I did? Check them? Have my husband check them? Or toss them?Never Tell

First, you’ve got to be smoking some wacky weed if you thought I was even going to tell my husband. He thinks I am a scatterbrain as it is. Nope, not that choice. I didn’t want to check them either. Before I could think about it too much, I tossed them in the garbage. I knew going any further would just cause me grief. After I tossed them, I poured myself a nice tall glass of wine. You know, to celebrate my decision. (It certainly wasn’t to forget about the tickets.)

That was that. The end of the story, right? Ha! No, of course not. At about 3:00 am in the morning, guess who was digging in the trash trying to find the tickets.trash digYep, not knowing was too much for me. I couldn’t sleep until I donned a pair of latex gloves and dug around all the stinky junk in the garbage can. It took me about 10 minutes and a lot of mess, but I found them. They were a little damp and one corner was stained by coffee grounds, but still very legible.

With some hesitation, I pulled up the lotto website. First I checked the Mega Millions. The potential winnings were only $50M, so if the numbers came up as winners, I wouldn’t be too disappointed. Anyone knows that you shouldn’t even bother buying a ticket until it reaches $100M. Still, with one eye closed, I peaked at the readout. It was a loser. Next I looked up the PowerBall. This one was worth well over $120M. I might shed a tear…. and some blood if this one won. I tapped the keys on my keyboard and checked the numbers. I realized I could not see the screen with both eyes closed. I slowly opened one eye and then the other. I read the numbers on my ticket and compared them to the numbers on the screen. Not one single number matched. Yeah! I’m still a big fat loser!
loserIt’s the first time I’m happy about having the big “L” on my forehead. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to stay a loser, but in this instance, losing was just like winning.

So, with a heavy sigh of relief and a quick shower, I climbed back into bed at about 4:00 am. My husband woke up and asked me what I was doing. “Nothing,” I said. “Just a dream. Go back to sleep.”

He still doesn’t know and I am not telling. Shhhhhhhhhhh.secret

Night, night and sweet dreams.
Karen

Trading One Cat Butt For Another

Who doesn’t love side effects from taking medication? Everything, it seems, has some sort of side effect. Have you ever listened to those medication ads on TV? Yikes! side-effects

But sometimes, we have to take the medication so we must deal with the consequences. As it is with me… I got new meds and a slew of new experiences.

My doctor gave me the medicine and a pamphlet of all the possible side effects and said, “You will probably be OK. Most of the side effects are rare.”

“OK,” I said. I took the prescription and had it filled.

I really don’t want to take the medicine, but I know if I don’t, my husband is going to bury me in a box somewhere. Well, maybe that is a little harsh, but I have been difficult to live with. I am not sure which is worse, the nightmares or the headaches. Poor John. I wake him up in the middle of the night with either screaming fits from the nightmares or retching sounds from the headaches. John needs his sleep just as much as I do. In addition to that, I’ve been kind of a downer. You know, kind of disheartened and disconnected.

cat-freud-therapyI saw a therapist for a while because I really didn’t want meds. I thought she might be able to figure out the source of my malaise and head pain. After a few sessions, she had the answer. She said my work was stressing me out and I should either find another job or get meds. So, here we are. On the meds.IMG_0493

I’ve been taking the “Don’t Be a Crazy Person” pills for about two months now. At first I didn’t feel much different, but then the side effects started up. I guess the pills are working because I really don’t care about the side effects at all.

I mean, the horns are barely noticeable if I poof my hair up a little. I have to be careful with hats though. I ruined my Wicked Weed hat last week (kind of ironic, right?) Maybe I can patch it.

I am still getting used to the tail. It’s only about three feet long and has a little furry tip at the end that my cat likes to chase. Just what I always wanted, my own built in cat toy. You have to admit, that is pretty cool.Devil Karen

Even though I am feeling a little bit better, my husband says I should increase my dosage. My nightmares are not completely gone and my stress level is starting to creep back up as are the headaches. I am considering it. Who knows, I might get a pair of leathery wings to go with my horns and tail. Won’t that be a hoot!

If you can’t kick the cat butt, just put horns on it and call it a day.

Karen