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4 kittens

Touching the ancient clams

Posted on 2016.11.27 at 22:20
Thanksgiving, Pokey's birthday, the leaves are falling and it no longer looks like summer.

By Hawaii.

My brother's family came to visit for Thanksgiving. Among other things, we went to Wonderworld Caverns. We've been here before.

The neighbors were gone for Thanksgiving, but the kittens were back, mewing on our front porch. Goddamn pathetic kittens. At least at first.  The orange kitten disappeared on Thursday.

On Friday, we debated whether or not to take the gray kitten to a shelter. It didn't appear that the neighbors had left food out for it. It no longer had a sibling to cuddle. It was whiny and lonely and hungry (and adorable but we have enough cats. Plus that'd be tough to explain to the neighbor's kids. "Yep, same cat. Yep, we judged you negatively and adopted your cat.")

On Saturday, the neighbors returned, which was unexpected - usually they pull in late Sunday night. We haven't seen Gray Kitten since. Hopefully she's being fed indoors and not strangled, but it's also possible she just disappeared, like her brother. At least we got to punt on the decision on the animal shelter.

Here is a series of lamentations I wrote on Unfogged, overnight on Friday night:

I'm having Bed Of Nails-induced insomnia. I can't stop despairing.
Also my ipad is now recently become incredibly slow and crashes frequently. It's not even that old. I'm going to have to update things beyond what it was built to handle, and it will completely self-destruct, and net neutrality will end, and we'll have to replace our expensive gadgets every year just to load the same dumb shit that we just want to read.
Trump will win reelection based on a bed of lies about how great everything turned out.
The idea that Russia got trump elected will be relegated to fruity contrails territory.
Trump will make a gazillion dollars off this presidency and unravel every precedent that has been in place and no one will care.
No one will ever care about all these things that are tormenting me. Aargh.
Black people are actually being killed by white supremacists and it's not entering the mainstream consciousness.
All the climate change scenarios will now be blown out of the water.
When the pendulum inevitably swings back again, none of the Trump supporters will connect any fucking dots whatsoever.
I'm feeling very angry.
I've been angry-shopping and acquired some really great clothes, though. So there's that.
Public education will be dismantled. Flint will never get clean water. We will have no idea how many other cities have contaminated water.
All our institutions will become grift-mills. "More grift for the mill," we'll all quip with a shrug.
The system itself will produce more voters susceptible to conmen like Trump.
Anything good - Ivanka whispering about paid maternity leave or whatever - the corrupt, ineffective grift-version will be implemented and it will get tainted as "oh well, tried that, didn't work!"
This very comment thread is loading slowly for me. It's the Russians.
My jokes will get less funny. Our clothes will fit us less well.
Something awful will happen to our neighbors' deteriorating pets while my kids are watching.
And they will just shrug and acquire more pets to criminally neglect.
We still won't have a paper trail in 16 more years. No one will notice. Occasionally the MSM will despair that there's no good way to prevent hacking, but they'll do it in that infuriating c'est la vie media shrug.
"Microaggressions" and "safe spaces" seem impossibly quaint. Talking about amplifying women's voices in meetings! What a subtle thing to care about!
We'll do more things I hate at Xfit and fewer things I like. I'll eat too much sugar. Science will reveal that I should have haf an intense skin care regimen all these years in order to look my best. I won't look my best.
My kids will squabble incessantly forever.
Safe bike lanes will never become a reality.
I will be too despairing and timid to fight effectively.
My parent's generation will accumulate medical problems at an increasing rate and all these people I love will die.
Maybe my humor had been getting soft and complacent under the star of Obama and this will help me hone it back into shape. Or I won't realize that I'm quoting twitter and I'll be exposed as a serial plagiarist who was never funny.
People will chuckle at my despair and then lose interest when I try to make a joke. I'll obsess counterproductively about that and become a bore.
Black Friday sale prices will somehow make me feel worse about everything as I speculate about whose back J Crew's bottom line will be balanced on.
My ceiling fan makes my eyes unpleasantly dry.
My cat chews my watch clasp at night and manages to take it off and walk off with it.
Tex-mex is too Tex, not enough Mex.
I guess that's everything.
The DAPL situation is getting scary and seems to be relegated to shrill liberal territory and Trump is profiting off it, and nothing will happen.
Obama won't appoint Garland in an emergency recess appointment out of a sense of fairness and desire to meet the Republicans halfway.
My plants all eventually develop white fuzzy mold and I swear I don't overwater them, and I'm worried they catch it from each other and I'll need to throw out all my plants and start over.
My neck spasm thing has returned.
I'm reading the worst chick lit.
We'll have incredibly insightful analyses of the handbasket we're all crammed in, the one that's on fire.
I have to pee and my bed is cozy.
The delicate balance of Texas politeness and civility will start to unravel and I'll be subject to rightwing rants and leftwing ineffective responses and racist violence underlying it all.
I'll be super tired tomorrow.
I'll miss Shop Local Saturday and buy all my gifts at big box stores.
Tomorrow is Pokey's sixth birthday.
It's like we forgot everything Johnny Cash ever taught us.
The kids will wake up in fifteen minutes.
I'll never bother to look up what ressentiment really means.
Pokey just climbed into bed with us, so that's nice.
I guess I'm up for the day.

Let's put these predictions in an envelope and then despair at my presience again in five years.

I would like to frame this photo.

It was also Pokey's 6th birthday, yesterday. Here's the present I was most excited about:

Who's that Pokemon?

It's Pokey-mon!

The shoes were knock-offs, off Amazon. Look how perfect:

I think there's something deeply sweet about how Pokemon taps boys' desire to find things adorable. (Girls too, of course, but that's less novel.)

Here is Pokey's favorite gift:

 The X-wing fighter is 700 pieces and the Millenium Falcom is, I don't know, a jillion. Pokey worked on the X-wing fighter for six hours today:

He worked for five hours straight, and then took a break for a few hours, and then finished it up. Hawaii worked with him for the first hour. There were two small mistakes that Jammies helped him walk back.  Pretty good, kid!

Hawaii's favorite gift was the three ring binder that Pokey got for organizing his Pokemon cards.  She was deeply jealous, and immediately set about putting all his cards individually in their little plastic sleeves. She stayed up late to complete the task.  She would really like an organizational binder too, maybe for Christmas.

The cave is still cavernous. It is a dry cave, formed by tectonic plates shifting and wedge rocks falling in between them, as opposed to a cave eroded by water. No stalagtites or mites.

The tour guide boasted that they'd sent off some samples of ancient sea clams to the University of Texas. UT dated the clams to be 65 million years old, and asked the cave owners to donate them to the museum. "Put them under glass?" said the tour guide rhetorically, "Heck no! Sorry, this is a private cave! So we've got those clams right here - go on, touch them! Only ancient clams you'll be able to find and touch!" Jammies and I rolled our eyes. Probably if the poke-em-in-the-eye folks hadn't so recently destroyed the nation, we might have had more patience with the wanton destruction of the ancient clams.

Hawaii feeding the deer in 2016, Hawaii feeding the deer in 2014.

Pokey feeding the deer in 2016.  I don't have a companion photo from 2014, but here is Pokey at age 2, right when he was Rascal's age:

Sniff. There's something in my eye.

This was Ace's first time going to Wonderworld:

That is her most withering look. "MOM. Stop. You're the dumbest."

Also Pokey's first time.

Why are adult faces so much creepier than kid faces?

phew, there's a normal face.

A Profile of Rascal at Age 2:
We've never had a kid as loud and rambunctious.  He likes to just holler. On and on. Like one long, nonsensical, delighted holler. In the cave on the tour, at the restaurant, in the car, in the kitchen, wherever. Prolonged shout.

He likes pumpkin pie. "Pumkin pie? Pumkin pie?" he inquired, all weekend long.

He likes taking large piles of small toys and triumphantly dumping them out everywhere. He likes the big crash, the wounded expressions on our faces. This happens again and again, all day long.

He likes to hold Pokey's new Nerf gun like a guitar, and run all over the place banging into things.

I'd use a picture of us cuddling, but frankly these action shots capture him a little better.  So much shouting. We've never had a shouter before. Why so much shouting?

He likes to put my hair in my face, and then laughs again and I again as I ham it up, phbbbbbbbbt with my nose wrinkled, shaking my hair out of the way.  He's pretty fun.

Decadent kitty. Look at those ruffles. Soft fatso.


absynthe77 at 2016-11-28 05:24 (UTC) (Link)
So, you don't know me, and I don't know you except as a poster on a friend's feed which I read irregularly.
Your mention of the kittens in this post had me go back and look at how this unfolded, and I have to say that I'm appalled that you did nothing. It would take so little effort to gather them up and take them to a shelter, and instead you left them to a likely short and painful life.
Should you have the opportunity to help in a situation like this again, I hope you do something more than witness the abuse.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2016-11-28 16:37 (UTC) (Link)


As someone who lives next door to neighbors who also treat their pets in this cavalier fashion, I'll note that choosing the right action is difficult in these cases.

If you haul your neighbors pets to the animal shelter -- or call animal control on your neighbors -- well, then you've got a real rift with those neighbors, who are, after all, your neighbors (and in this case, friends of your children).

And even if you call animal control, or haul them to the shelter, animal control may well do nothing -- may return the animals. And now you have that rift.

I'll also note that Heebie did take action. She texted the neighbors; she gave shelter to the kittens when the house-sitter appeared to do nothing.

heebie_geebie at 2016-12-05 05:04 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Abuse

Thank you, Dr. D.
(Anonymous) at 2016-11-28 14:20 (UTC) (Link)

3 thoughts

1. Your list of worries = my list of worries. What a mess

2. When you make silly faces you look like Rachel Dratch

3. I need a link for those shoes!!
heebie_geebie at 2016-11-29 02:43 (UTC) (Link)

Re: 3 thoughts

Oh man, I even see the Rachel Dratch thing.

Shoes here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G1MPWJO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

heebie_geebie at 2016-11-29 02:44 (UTC) (Link)

Re: 3 thoughts

That's the link where I bought them, but the photo doesn't have the japanese writing on the heel. Hmmm.
The Last  Rambler
robertainnc at 2016-11-28 15:19 (UTC) (Link)
oh gawd Noah was a shouter at that age. Years later when watching an old video of the 2-4 year old years it ALL COMES BACK the VOLUME holy shit.

actually he is still pretty loud, both doing imaginary role playing adventures (imagine an 11 yr old boy rolling around your now no longer child-proofed home on a giant yoga ball waving a minecraft sword and hollering in delight).


I clearly have nothing positive to add. I had insomnia all night last night and the last thing I've read today before your post was this:

"It's like we forgot everything Johnny Cash ever taught us." might just be my favorite.
heebie_geebie at 2016-12-05 05:07 (UTC) (Link)
That list is even worse. Resistant antibiotics!

I'm so mad that I have to raise my kids in this shitty shitty world, that Obama was some sort of brief deviation from the shittiness which I shouldn't have been so naive as to get used to.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2016-11-28 16:41 (UTC) (Link)


I too am filled with worries, which behavior of our fellow citizens is doing little to allay.

Pokey dressed like Ash helped a lot, though!
heebie_geebie at 2016-12-05 05:07 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Worries

It's overwhelming. I don't know how long this shock stage is supposed to last, but I just cannot adjust to this reality.
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