the life and times of owning pets, and the reason i renamed my cats


long ago, probably about five, six, maybe seven, eight years ago brad announced he knew someone, or talked to them in passing, or something, and mentioned that the person had told him about a cute, little, itty-bitty, barely-born, newly-arrived kitten.

he wondered if he could have it.


i have forever been opposed to pets because kids tend to think all they have to do is pretty much nothing. just occasionally (operative word here) engage with their newly obtained hobby. goldfish died due to an overload of food. while on the other hand, hamsters starved to death.

for me, it was too much to handle. little kids running around asking mommy this, mommy that, mommy, mommy mommy, which caused me to forget there was a pet in the house. i had tunnel vision. hence, supervised kids. unsupervised critters.

which meant no more pets. no. never. not on my watch.

until brad showed me, and roberto (a huge pet advocate), an adorable photo of the kitten he had mentioned. he caught me off guard. sly kid. the kitten’s big green eyes and fluffy fur was hard to resist, for all of us, apparently. please, please, please they both whispered, hands clasped into steeples, prayer-mode.

ok, i said.

say what? what did i say? i asked myself.

really?! they both screamed.

really, i mumbled.

as they were walking out the front door, i said, bring home two. (again, what the heck was going on with me?)

two? you sure?

yeah, you know, to play together.

within the hour they brought home Cassandra and Skyler (named later that afternoon by the boys). fraternal twins. one black, one multicolored. both with green eyes.

i was smitten.

still am.

roberto recently moved out and brad is a busy 17 year old. both engaged elsewhere, most of the time. so, aside from brad allowing them to sleep in his room, the girls belong to me. i tend to them 99% of the time, and i even renamed them. (the kids don’t know this, they’d probably think i’ve gone bonkers, but oh well, a caretaker’s got to do what a caretaker’s got to do, right?)

cassandra’s now-name is chicka-chicka-boom-boom (which, ironically, is the title of an adorable kid’s book about the lower case letters of the alphabet climbing a tree, thinking they know what’s what) because of her diva personality and i refer to skyler as skitter. so sweet, yet so nervous. she has never been able to fully relax.

ah, there she is. I can hear chicka-chicka-boom-boom’s deep guttural mew call me.  she wants in the house for a quick nibble of chow and a full-on vigorous back rub. she likes her cheeks gently caressed as well.

spoiled. i know.


Liar, Liar

girl_boy talkingThey’re sitting around a large, rectangular, standard issue, classroom table, doing work, and chatting. Well, one girl was chatting chatting chatting. Nonstop. She’s telling the story about an accident her mom was involved in. A serious one. I mean, seriously, this girl went on and on and on about how one car crashed into the rear of another car, which caused that car to crash into the next car’s rear-end, and it just continued. A domino effect. Collide collide collide. Somewhere in this story one of those car flipped, “like five times,” she said. Flip flip flip.

Someone asked if her mom was okay and the girl just kept chatting, stating that her mom was fine. That she had just a little bump. On her forehead. Right there, right above her left eyebrow. One kid, a boy who seemed to be deep in thought, stopped her mid-sentence. Looked at her with contemplation. His lips gently pinched, and his eyes narrowed. Squinted, full of doubt. He casually claimed that she was lying. And she responded that she was not.

“I mean, really?” he began. “That many cars crashed into one another, and one kept flipping? It’d be all over the news,” he pressed.

The girl went on to say that yes indeed it did happen, and that she didn’t know why it wasn’t on the news. But the boy challenged her, brought up an old story from a previous time.

“Last year you told me your brother’s super strong tooth, the one that could chomp through anything, took a bite out of a brick building. That the whole thing fell down.” Crumbled to the ground. Crumble crumble crumble.

She went on and on, saying it was all true, that it all really happened, but the boy just looked at her, and he had only one more thing to say.

“Liar,” he told her.

“Liar,” someone else added.