Cats in Residence at Real Art ways

If you’ve been to Real Art Ways lately you may have noticed a hint of dander in the air thanks to the Cats in Residence exhibition. What the hell is up with that, you may ask. Well, it’s basically a pop up shelter in the gallery of Real Art Ways. I headed over there with the Farmer for the opening reception and ran into none other than CONNetic Dance’s Carolyn Paine while we were there. (Shameless plug: Get your tickets for the Nutcracker Suite & Spicy now!) You may have heard a rumor that she got kicked out of the cat habitat. I am here to confirm that it is true.

Cat art at Real Art Ways. I want one for my house.

Cat art at Real Art Ways. I want one for my house.

The Cats in Residence exhibition runs until December 7, and as the cats get adopted new ones comes in. And they are getting adopted. One even got snapped up by Scot Haney.  (more…)

Adventures in Dog-Ownership: Part I

Tulla the Trial Dog meets ScaredyCat

The title here is a little misleading because I do not, in fact, own a dog. The closest I’ve come in recent years, has been stealing the Asian Persuasion’s pup.

Yes, the AP has decided  to, once again, defy stereotypes and adopt a dog–like, 5 years ago. Now that I’m back in the area and have a home of my own, I’m getting desperate for my own pooch. Unfortunately, I live with a couple of feline A-Holes. One hides from dogs, and the other one stares them down, and if the canine doesn’t avert its gaze, she’ll attack it. This makes finding the right canine addition a bit tricky.

So I’ve been stealing the Asian’s dog because she’s basically the perfect gal for my situation. She ignores the cats, so they’re both able to get used to her pretty quickly. BossyPants can push her around, and Scaredy Cat can hiss from a distance without fear of reprisal. I am also currently without a fenced-in yard, but she pretty much sticks around–and even when she managed to get off the tie-out I put out for her, she didn’t go anywhere. (Thank Goodness, ’cause the AP would never forgive me if I lost her pup.)

Frankly, I didn’t want to give her back. But eventually the Asian Persuasion showed up at my door, demanding the dog back.

Originally I was  thinking about getting Wilbur. He is a complete goofball, and loves playing with the other dogs at the pound. He also got along with the half-dead cat that was living there, but she reacted completely differently to dogs than either of my two. She just kind of sat there. Wilbur would push her out of the way to try and eat her food and otherwise more or less ignore the cat. So he came for a home visit. We let him get used to being inside before I let the cats out of the back room, and true to form Scaredy Cat stayed put while BossyPants came out and stared Wilbur down from across the room. (This is a look that’s equivalent to my “look of death.”) When she came into the living room and sat under the end-table Wilbur decided to try and check her out. This led to her smacking him in the face and leaving little claw marks on his nose, and Wilbur — justifiably — getting a little angry and going after her. A little yelling put an end to that; Wilbur doesn’t like it when his people yell at him and he quickly stops whatever it is he’s doing.

Wilbur is also a very lazy dog. He’s a pitbull, but heavy on the “bull” — as in “bulldog.” Earlier this summer when I took him for a short walk around the pound, he got hot and laid down in the middle of a soccer field. A lot of people would love a dog with minimal exercise requirements, but 70% of the reason I want a dog is to go hiking with it. I work at home, and need a dog to help get me out once a day for a nice walk. Wilbur would be just as happy sleeping under my desk.

So I decided to postpone making any decisions for a while. I need a fence before I get any dog, so my main hope for Christmas was to get Home Depot gift cards to purchase a fence with.  Now that the gift cards are in hand, and I’m getting closer to sorting that out I’ve been spending massive amounts of time on Petfinder, where it’s completely impossible to choose.

Currently I would like to adopt all of these dogs:

How does one even begin to choose? The do-gooder in me wants to adopt the dogs in the most dire need. If we’re choosing based on adorableness, Blaze wins hands down. Wilbur is the dog I’m able  to get to know first, and Fiona…well… it just seems meant to be. Part of me thinks it’s impossible to choose, and I just want to go down to the Humane Society, find a dog that ignores cats, and call it a day.

So as the new year begins, so does my quest to become a dog owner. Up next: getting the fence!

Hairless & Defenseless

Lots of hair and a few extra pounds = extra protection against the elements. (Isn't my Jer-Bear the sweetest?)

I wasn’t going to write about the poor hairless kitten that died of hypothermia after being kept in the cargo compartment of a plane for too long at Bradley Airport on its way to meet its new family, which paid nearly $300 to fly “Snickers” in from Utah — plus whatever absurd amount of money they bought the cat for in the first place. But the Gay Guru changed my mind.

I feel sorry for this kitten, I do. It got the shit end of the stick from the beginning, simply by being born a hairless cat, and I blame the nut-jobs who bred the cat. I know that the first hairless cat was a naturally occurring phenomenon (thanks to Cats 101 on the Animal Planet) but was this really a trait we needed to continue selecting for? They’re greasy, pimply, and completely unprepared for real life as a cat. I’ve got two fat bastard cats laying at the end of my bed as I type this, and one is a furball. Every time he lays down on the floor he leaves a ring of hair behind, and he’s survived a lot more than an hour in the cold.

More to the point, this furry little monster who calls my apartment home cost me $0 (unless you count his vet bills and food). He was wandering the mean streets of Glastonbury one winter, faking a limp, and eventually the Animal Control Officer picked him up. Months later, he came home with me — where he is incessantly bullied by the other hairy street urchin that hogs my bed.

If you haven’t already guessed, I have a real problem with the business of pedigree pets. I like an adorable Golden Retriever puppy as much as the next person, but I spend several days a week walking sweet, lovable shelter dogs who need homes and don’t get them because of America’s obsession with pedigree animals and having the best everything.

Getting the right dog for your family, though, is much more important than getting the right cat — felines pretty much just show up at your door and move in whether you like it or not. If you’re lucky, they pay attention to you, but quite often they just eat your food until one of you dies. Why anyone would pay for one, let alone fly one across the country is beyond me. If you’re allergic to cats…don’t get one! But breeding hairless, defenseless freakshows is not the answer.

So…if you’re feeling bad about this poor kitten’s plight, hit up and adopt a cat from your local shelter. Or even better, adopt one of my pound puppies!