Category Archives: Caturday

Happy Birthday, Cambria!

This is the story of Cambria.

Three years ago today I was a brokenhearted woman mourning a kitten and a baby, both gone too soon. And three years ago today I met my new kitty. An adorable, though timid year-old Siamese cat, Cambria had been abandoned as a kitten and caught in a trap meant for a raccoon. Saved from being put-down by a local rescue, she was healthy, but terrified of everything and everyone. The women at the rescue said she needed to go to a home with no other pets and lots of love, and I told them that we fit the bill perfectly. My mother’s heart needed someone to take care of. In the car, she sat in the farthest corner of her carrier and her whole body shook with fright, but she looked at me intently, her eyes never leaving my face.

When I let her out at home, she hid under the couch for almost five days. She’d come out at night to eat and drink, but that was all. Slowly, she started to explore other corners of the house, when no one else was there, of course. And then, one night I woke up with something furry and warm cuddled by my side. Cambria was home.

It didn’t happen all at once, but Cambria slowly became the cat she was meant to be: smart, playful, loving, always ready with a purr, a snuggle, and a kiss. And I, overtime, became myself again too. It’s like our little family was meant to be.

So Happy Fourth Birthday, Cambria Kitty. I’m really glad you are mine!



Filed under Cambria, Cats, Caturday, Odds and Ends

I’ve Been a Bad Blogger

It’s true. But now I’m back! Allow me to reintroduce myself. Hi. I’m Amanda. This is my blog. I read stuff and write about it, or at least I’m supposed to. Or at least, I’m going to again.

You know what I’ve discovered? Writing a blog is a lot like going to the gym. You know how it is. You sign up for your gym membership with much enthusiasm, and you find a good routine. You may settle into this routine for months, maybe even a year. But then, one day, you make an excuse.

“This sore throat is just really bad, so I think I’ll stay home and get healthy.”

“I know my spinning class is tonight, but that coworker I’ve only talked to four times is having her birthday party at my favorite sushi restaurant, so I’ll just go to the Thursday class instead.”

“I don’t know anyone in the Thursday class, and it feels so awkward.”

“This Wii fitness is totally the same thing, and it’s in my living room where there are no skinny women to make me feel chubby.”

And then- voila!- it’s been four months and when you go back they’ve given your locker to someone else, and you don’t know any of the trainers anymore, and you huff and puff through all ten minutes on the treadmill that you can muster before passing out in the shower with a power bar and a Gatorade, totally exhausted.

Not that I speak from experience or anything.

Blogging is like that. For me, my gateway excuse was these people:

My family! Aren’t they just the cutest? I spent 12 whole days with them in my favorite of all places- Ohio! It was pretty chill and included a lot of time to relax, which had me dreaming of the eight books I was going to read and the multitude of amazing blogs I was going to write…and then, I went comatose. I went into a vacation, my-mom-is-taking-care-of-me-and-I-don’t-have-to-cook-or-clean coma. It was pitiful.

Then I came home. I tried to write a few blogs, but they were, to put it nicely, pure drivel. And then the excuse-a-thon began. I thought about blogging. I’d fall asleep at night composing tomorrows blog that was going to be my great comeback. And then tomorrow would come, and I’d just read instead, because I was tired, or my instant gratification bug would kick in and I’d watch TV instead.

But I’m back on the bandwagon now, and I may be a little flabby and out of practice, but dude, I have missed this blog! And I’ve missed my blog friends! And man-oh-man do I have a ridiculous amount of books to review!

These are the books that I’ve read:

Plus three e-books: Real Marriage by Mark& Grace Driscoll, Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan, and An Unquenchable Thirst by Mary Johnson.

And these are the books that I’ve started, but for various reasons haven’t finished yet:

That top one is The Story of Charlotte's Web, for those of you who aren't magic and can't read pure light. Sorry about that. There's a window right behind my desk.

I’ll start reviewing all the ones I’ve read so far tomorrow. Promise.

For those of you keeping score, I’m a teeny bit behind where I should be. To be honest, I’ve been a little lazy on the reading front the last few weeks, so I’m trying to finish five books this week. And if I don’t stop blogging right now, I probably won’t get today’s books finished and get my dishes done. And if you saw my kitchen after a three-day weekend, you’d know just how dire this situation is. Speaking of which, I will not show you my icky kitchen, but I will show you the book of the day:

But more on that tomorrow.

PS: One last thing. A certain little someone has missed you too, and she wanted me to let you know.

Dear Mai Friens, Ai know you've missed me a whole bunches. Ai missed you too, when Ai wasn't sweeping or eating the tuna fishes. But never fears! Caturday draws nigh! Lub, Cambria


Filed under Books, Cambria, Cats, Caturday, Odds and Ends, Ohio, writing

Three Not-Quite-Mini But Still-Fairly-Short Reviews:The Map of Time, And Both Were Young, and Sideways on a Scooter

The good thing about being sick for a long time with out either internet access (besides my phone) or a television is that it gives you plenty of time to read. And my favorite thing to read when I’m sick is a book that takes me someplace I’ve never been before. This time I adventured to India, Switzerland, and the Future respectively.

The Future: The Map of Time by Felix J Palma: This three-part tome (at 609 pages, I feel I can call it that without exaggerating) was a fantastic story, blending the real personas of H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker, and Jack the Ripper with the fictional stylings of a carefully planned time-travel ruse that saves a suicidal youth’s life, a scam time-traveling company that fools everyone- even the Queen, a dock worker-cum-actor who pretends to be a general from the future and accidentally falls in love with a socialite who believes his ruse, and the accidental discovery of a real time traveler wreaking havoc in Victorian London.

I tried to play it cool and pretend I wasn’t obsessed with this story, but it didn’t work. I loved it! I talked about theories of time travel with my husband over dinner, and I carried it around with me in purse in spite of its considerable weight and size, which left room for little else even in my usually roomy handbag. It was, however, long. And though Palma does an excellent job of weaving the three seemingly unrelated sections together into a surprisingly unified whole, and also of turning the time-traveling genre on its ear, there were times when I felt bogged down. It was engaging, and it kept me guessing, but I wouldn’t call it fast paced. Filled with romance, intrigue, mystery, and a plethora of colorful, well-developed characters, The Map of Time is not an undertaking for the faint of heart, impatient, or short on time, but for those who do brave its pages there is much to be gained. I want to say more, but i don’t want to give anything away! I will say, however, that Palma is an expert story-teller, and I hope more of his works are translated into English soon.

India: Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy: Kennedy wanted to leave behind her New York City radio job and be a foreign correspondent. Even more than that, she wanted to live in India, to experience the adventure of completely submerging herself in the totally foreign life of a totally foreign culture. So instead of waiting for life to hand her her dreams, Miranda boarded a plane for New Delhi and decided to take fate into her own hands. This memoir follows Miranda’s journey to discover herself in a new world and her struggles to mesh her western life and identity with the still very traditional Indian culture. It also follows the stories of seven women she meets on her five-year journey, and their struggles to adapt as their traditional, caste bound system begins to clash with a quickly globalizing city life.  I was quickly drawn in by Kennedy’s vivid descriptions and journalistic prose. She managed to cover most of the large issues confronting today’s Indian woman, from arranges marriage vs. “love matches,” to birth control and gender-picking abortions, and she does so all through the lens of these seven friends. From her Brahmin widow maid, Radha, who thinks that cats are vermin and touching a toilet is a fate worse than death, to Geeta, her spunky Punjabi friend who struggles to find a balance between her life as a “modern girl” living alone and working in the city and her desire for a traditional, arranged marriage, to Azmat, her Muslim friend who works at a women-only gym and always finds the joy in life despite her dwindling prospects of ever having a family, I fell in love with the cast of colorful and quirky, but earnest and honest characters. And though I was disappointed at the hardened edge she developed as the story went one, I also appreciated Miranda’s honesty about her own struggles, from being able to find an apartment in a country where a woman living alone often signified her profession as a prostitute, to the deeper issues of how to be truly intimate and build lasting relationships with anyone, family, friends, men, while struggling to find your identity and worth as a woman. Every woman, be they American, European, Indian, has been faced with the same dilemma: we want to be mothers and wives, but we want our passions too, be they a career or experiences or just the freedom to wear whatever clothes we choose. The world has started to tell us we can have it all, but they don’t tell us how. Sideways on a Scooter is an honest, messy, beautiful portrait of struggling to discover the how.

Switzerland: And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle: Madeleine L’Engle is quite possibly my favorite writer. Her prose is masterful, and she has a way of connecting with the reader in a way that, no matter the circumstance she is relaying, one feels instantly connected to and a part of the experience. I have never traveled via time wrinkles, but every time I read  A Wrinkle in Time, I feel akin to Meg Murray in a moving, intimate way. Certain Women is one of my favorite books, and despite the fact that my father never had eight wives and a selfish steak ten miles wide, it still resonated deep within my chest. I’ve hoping to read all the L’Engle books I haven’t experienced yet in the next few years anyway, and then I saw this article about the Madeleine L’Engle re-read (though for me this one is a first-read), and the deal was sealed. 

“I saw two beings in the hues of youth/Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill…/And both were young- and one was beautiful.” Lord Byron, The Dream, Canto II

I was hooked from the beautiful epigraph on, reading this little beauty in just over three hours. This isn’t her best work, but L’Engle does present a solidly entertaining and touching story. It has been a year since Phillipa “Flip” Hunter’s mother died in a tragic accident, and her artist father, who has to travel a lot for his work, has decided to send her to a boarding school in Switzerland so they can at least spend the Holiday’s together. Though she feels awkward and unsure around the usual cast of boarding school girls, Flip forms a friendship with Paul, a handsome local boy with no memory of his past. Through their connection, Phillipa learns to be happy where she is despite her insecurities and deep homesickness for her father, and Paul begins to heal from the trauma of his past. Though the ending is tied up a little too neatly, and the subplot of Paul’s lost-and-found memory is a little shaky, I really enjoyed this book, my favorite moment being L’Engle’s observation that it is the tragedies and sorrows of life that make us stronger, that give us depth and give joy its greatest meaning.  I certainly could have used that message when I was a teenager, and it resonates deeply with me today, only now it is from experience and not need. I also like the insight into the lives of European young adults so soon after WWII, as well as the glimpse of an awkward, bookish, artsy type we are afforded here, because that’s exactly what I was in my youth, and that is exactly what I still feel like in the quiet, still moments. Overall, a fun and worthy read.

You know what else being home-bound gives you lots of time for? Cat pictures! I bet you though I’d forgotten all about Caturday, huh? Well, for those of you who endured ’til the end, here is a super-secret, mini-Caturday:

Top left: This is what I call Cambria’s “Children of The Corn” pose, because she sits perfectly erect and totally quiet behind you, and when you turn around it’s almost creepy, or it would be if she wasn’t such a cutie-face.

Top right: Cambria’s newest obsession: the bath tub. She’s started sniffing around it when she thinks no one is looking, and she even jumped in it this week when she thought it was empty, but in fact has about an inch of water in the bottom. I’ve never seen a cat poof into a  total fuzzball so fast before, and she cleaned herself for a solid hour, mewing angrily if anyone dared speak to or touch her.

Bottom left: Cambria sleeps on the book I’m trying to read, per usual.

Bottom right: This is the position that I call “The Cat-sserole,” and when she’s in it you could set off the fire alarm in our apartment while elephants stampeded down the hallway, and she still wouldn’t wake up.

And that’s that. Happy Caturday, friends!

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Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Cambria, Caturday

I’m Weighing In: My Favorite Veterans, Elevens, and A Little Caturday

Yesterday was an important day. 11:11 11.11.11 happened (twice!), and also it was Veteran’s Day. With all the hype about all the number 11’s showing up, and this whole Joe Pa/Penn State mess (Let me just say this: seeing that child rape and the covering up thereof does not go unpunished is way more important than football will ever be. And I can say that because I’m a big football fan, but I’m a decent human being first. What kind of society are we if we care more about a game than protecting our children? Rant over.), I felt like a lot of people forgot about Veteran’s Day, which is humorous, really, since we would not have the ability to be care free enough to care about silly number coincidences or football if our Veteran’s had not fought and sacrificed so we could remain free. I didn’t forget, however. My father is a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War era. And these two special men were veterans as well.

Milford Caldwell, navy, Korean war

Robert Cahill, Navy, World War II

Part of it is the era they grew up in, but these were not soft, in-touch-with-my-feminine-side men. I knew them as loving grandfather’s, but they were not always that way. The realities of life, of working hard on the farm growing up, and then in the military, and then as blue collar workers supporting growing families, made them tough, hard working men. They, and countless other like them, are the reason we, and some of our allies, such as the people of South Korea, are free to live as we see fit. I’m proud of my dad and my grandfather’s for many reasons, but this is one of the biggest. So thank you, Veterans. Thank you every day. Thank you for making our country a safe enough place that I can write the following paragraphs, and only seem a teeny bit vapid.

Yesterday was, as I’m sure you heard and I just noted above, 11.11.11. The whole world seemed to be very excited, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t buy into the hype a little too. I bought a magazine subscription for only $11 (yay!), I learned that The National Corduroy Association honors today as the day that looks the most like corduroy (11.11.11. Yeah, I can see it.), and all the ads of the side of my Facebook feed said things like, “Enter today only and you could win $1,111!” And this is what I did to celebrate: I made a list of 11 of my favorite books from the past 11 years.

2000: I was thirteen this year, and I checked out The Hobbit from the library for the first time. It took me a little while to get into the actual trilogy, but I read and adored The Hobbit many times over, exceeding the number of times I could re-check-out my copy without sharing with the other kids. So I moved on to the main attraction, and loved those too, but Mr. Baggin’s and his dragon will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s a well rounded miniature epic with a lot of heart and delightful characters, and, as an added bonus, you can read the whole thing in the same time it takes to read the first third of the trilogy.

2001: I’m trying to remember what I was reading in the seventh grade, but I don’t remember much. The only thing I remember is finishing Pride and Prejudice for the first time, and watching the looooong movie. Since both still grace my list of favorites, I suppose they count. I know it’s so cliché for a girl to love Pride and Prejudice, and I really do prefer Northanger Abby and Persuasions, but something about Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy holds a special place in my heart forever.

2002: This Side of Paradise was the first of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works that I discovered. Ever a modernist, Fitzgerald imbues his books with the sense that everything is meaningless, even when his material is partially autobiographical, and he fills Paradise with pure egotism, witty banter, and pointless conversations. But because the work is semi-autobiographical, he also lends it a pain and depth of experience that, while still not making it as great as Gatsby, gives it a surprising resonance. On the cusp of adulthood, and up to my neck in teenage angst, this was exactly what I needed.

2003: I found a copy of Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King at a used book sale, and the poetry train officially left my station. In a rather Anne of Green Gables twist, I would read it all the time. I’m not as big of a fan of the epic poetry these days, but Tennyson stirred in me a love of poetry that has never died. And I still have that poor, beat up copy. The water ring came from a rather large mug of chicken noodle soup. Don’t ask.

2004: Peter Pan had long been one of my favorite movies, but I’d never read the book version of it. I stumbled upon a rather old version of that as well, and aside from sparking an old book collection, I discovered that the novel is just as good, if not better than the movie. Ever feel a need to reconnect with your inner youth? This book will do the trick, and it’s beautifully written too.

2005: I read some amazing books in 2005, but none of them had an impact on me as much as The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. Since I had visions of Most of the grammatical aspects are things we’ve all learned but sometimes forget, and the section on style is practical and wise. It changed me as a writer, and it will help you too, even if all you ever write are letter’s to your Great Aunt Bess.

2006: This was the year I first read Harry Potter, but you already know all about him. But Enchantment by Orson Scott Card is just as good. Ivan is a Russian Jewish scholar who studies languages and folk takes. He’s also a runner, and one day while jogging he stumbles upon a sleeping princess set upon a pedestal in pit, protected by a ferocious bear. And suddenly, everything he has ever studied is true. This is a stunningly well written, well researched, and cohesive story, the type you could finish in one sitting without realizing that hours have passed. And it deals with fairy tales, are you surprised?

2007: I’ve never been the kind of Christian to hide myself away from my culture, or any culture. After all, the command to be in the world but not of the world still necessitates that we be actually in the world, not in your conclave down the road from it. A Faith and Culture Devotional was a chance find, something I stumbled upon by accident in a secluded corner of Barnes and Noble, but it is one of my favorite finds ever. It discusses everything from AIDS and The Enlightenment to Moby Dick and Van Gough, with each discussion being informed by faith. It is a truly fascinating ride.

2008: Azar Nafisi’s memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran was assigned to me in an unorthodox but brilliant turn by my World Literature professor. It’s called a memoir in books, but it’s so much more than just that. It’s about the intersection of literature and culture, about what it’s like to be a woman experiencing both of those things, and about the universal truths that transcend the bounds of culture, religion, and gender, and ring true to us all.

2009: In case you haven’t realized it yet, I’m a big fan of a good adventure, and an even bigger fan of originality. And no one is more original that Walter Moers. I’ve read all four of his books that are published in the United States, but The City of Dreaming Books was my first, and is still my favorite. I mean, it’s about a city and an underground labyrinth literally made of books, and the protagonist is a dinosaur. Does it get any better? I didn’t think so.

2010: The Screwtape Letter’s by C.S. Lewis in junior high before my mom decided I was too young for such an intense book. Written from an elder demon to his young apprentice, this book is intense not in its action, but in what it reveals about the inner working of the human mind, and how easily we fall prey to deceptions. it was not my favorite book of the year from an enjoyment or entertainment standpoint, but I certainly learned the most here

2011: As I have stated before, Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak is my all-time favorite book. I am in love with Yuri and Laura and Tanya and Pasha (Strelnikov), and I am in love with Russia. But more than that, I am in love with the umpteen things Pasternak really has to say. Sure, he says a lot about the revolution, but he also speaks heavily to loneliness, to the importance of individuality among and in spite of ideological trends, and to the dichotomy of worldview (from the German idea, Weltanschauung) and lifeworld (also from the German, Lebenswelt), worldview being the way we see things, and represented by Strelnikov, and lifeworld being the way we actually live, represented by Zhivago himself. Both are passionate men, two sides of the same coin really. And both would be better men, perhaps alive and not lonely men, if they were tempered. But that’s enough of that. I could go on for pages. A new translation of Dr. Zhivago came out this year, and I actually prefer it to the old one. If you’ve never read Dr . Zhivago, this translation is newly in paper back, and you should definitely check it out.

And one last thing.

Cambria is something of a special snowflake. I’m sure there are other such weird kitties crawling around, but I’ve never met them. Today she has alternated between sleeping in this box full of stuffed animals. and tearing around the house, tail fluffy and back arched, tearing into blankets, diving under rugs, trying to eat anything that looks interesting, including shadows, and biting anything that comes across her path, including feet. Yay.

Now I’m off to buy Mindy Kaling’s new book. Happy Caturday, friends!

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Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Cambria, Caturday

Everyday Is Caturday If You Want It Badly Enough



DA-nuh, DA-nuh...


It's not a shark, it's a poorly taken cat picture! And it's in honor of...

the return of Caturday!



Okay, so maybe it’s just me and Cambria who are excited. We got so excited that she took a nap on the keyboard:

and I ate a brownie in my pyjamas:

But that may have more to do with my love for chocolate than it does about Caturday.

But you don’t want to see pictures of me looking maniacal moments before devouring chocolatey goodness, you want to see my furry goober doing goober-ish things such as…

playing scrabble...

and biting people's toes in the morning...

and playing in her play house...

and "helping" me blog.

And that’s  what the goob has been up to. Well, that and trying to jump out of our 7th story apartment window. I was far to horrified/pumped full of adrenaline to take a picture of that occurence, however. But that’s a story for another time.

Happy SaturdayCaturday!


Filed under Cambria, Cats, Caturday

Return of the Blogger

Aaaaaaaaaand, I’m back! Good grief, has it really been a week? Please accept my sincerest apologies for my long absence; it won’t happen again. Or at least it won’t happen again until someday when Tyler takes me on a Caribbean cruise or some other such wonderfulness. The Week of Moving Madness was just that: a week of madness. This is the list of what I did over the last week:

  1. Pack up a flobbity-jillion boxes.

    The moving truck, before and after.

  2. Put said boxes into a moving truck.
  3. Follow behind my husband driving said truck in our car.
  4. Wait on the side of the road for the mechanic to come and look at the moving truck to determine why it wouldn’t move.
  5. Ask the mechanic if he could jump off my car while he was at it, since the battery was dead.
  6. Spend the night in a hotel after driving for eight hours to get to a place we should have gotten to in three and a half.
  7. Finally get to  the new apartment a mere 24 hours after we left Bakersfield.
  8. Unpack the moving truck and drag all out stuff up to the seventh floor. For five hours. Yipee!
  9. Discover that our car is dead…again. Wait for AAA to come and replace our battery.
  10. Unpack all those boxes that are now in our new, shiny home.
  11. Try to remember to eat at least twice a day.
  12. Try to remember to sleep a little bit.
  13. Steal moments to read when I’m “going to the bathroom.” *wink*

What did you do this week? Whatever it was, it was probably 29 times more exciting than what I did, but it was all worth it in the end. Hencefourth, I get to wake up to this every morning:

Now that we are here, I’ve been very busy. I have been…

  1. Not getting up before 8:30 am. Rough.
  2. Setting up house. My first order of business was setting up a reading corner, though the kitchen and bathroom are pretty much squared away, and the closet shall join them shortly.
  3. Looking out the window a lot. I’m still in awe of our cityscape.
  4. Reading. I started this lovely little book today:

    The Secret Lives of Wives by Iris Krasnow

    It is really interesting so far. Some of these women say having a man on the side has helped the, some say illness is what made them strong, and some say their arranged marriage is the best thing that ever happened to them. I’m not necessarily advocating for any of that, but I am fascinated.  Being married long enough to be passed the newlywed stage but not long enough to be considered a pro by any means, I’m really interested to delve into this topic. So far, if someone asked me the secret to our happiness these past four years, I’d say a strong underlying friendship, our shared commitment to our faith and core values, and honest communication. At the end of the day, no matter what has happened, that man is still the best friend I have in the world, which gives me something to fight for, no matter what. But in another four years, or eight, or twelve, who knows what I’ll say?  What about you? Man or woman, what would you say the key to longevity is? How do you keep a happy marriage? For that matter,  how do you keep any long-term relationship going?

  5. Taking an obscene amount of Cambria pictures:

    Sorry about missing Caturday! This little quartet pretty much sums up what she's been up to, though- sleeping and chilling out in odd places.

  6. Cooking dinner and other domestic type things.
  7. And tomorrow I will begin hunting for the perfect wall color. I’m thinking a nice, bright yellow.

Like I said, life is really tough right now. Another endeavor I plan to undertake soon: find every bookstore I can reasonably walk to/take the trolley to in San Diego. There are two just on the street I live on alone! But right now I’m going to sleep for the next ten hours. But I promise not to abandon you! I will surely be back tomorrow, my friends, granted I can pencil you into my demanding schedule.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Books, California Dreamin', Cambria, Cats, Caturday, Love & Marriage, Odds and Ends, San Diego, Tyler

Caturday 10.8.11: Brought to You By the Letters B, S, and E

Cambria heres. Guess what today is, guys…It’s Caturday! And mom lemme post all by maiselfs!

Dis Caturday is brought to you by de letter “B,” as in de word “Bored”…

As in, Cambria is

Bored, bored, bored.

Da humans are busy and tired, and dey filled mai cat fort wif books. Ai got trapped in a corner yesterdays, and now Ai’m not alloweds in da closet. And it’s cold outsides, which makes it cold insides. And Ai hates cold. It’s a terruble, horruble, no goods, very bad day!

Toady is also brough to you by de letter “S,” for de word “Solution”…

As in, Ai discovered a solution for mai boredom. Ai builts a castle! Acshully, the humans made de castle, Ai just conquered it.

Ai am Cambria kitteh. Oh, marvelous me! And Ai am de Queen of all dat Ai see!

Yertle de Turtle ain't got nothin on me!

Bring me some tunas, minion!...,uh, Ai mean, mom.

And lastly, Caturday is brought to you dis week by de letter “E,” for de word “Excited…”

As in, get excited! Dis time next week, Ai’ll be a Big City kitteh, and a downtown loft kitteh, and de Queen of a whole new place. Yays!

Hear dat, boxes?!! We're goin to San Diegos!

(A note from the humans: we’re in SD right now picking out Cambria’s new queendom! I’ll try to keep you updated on our progress as The Week of Moving Madness descends upon us. Also, I had to publish this from my phone because I’m too cheap to pay for hotel Internet. So if there are any iPhone quirks, I apologize.)


Filed under Cambria, Cats, Caturday

Caturday 10.1.11: Cambria Builds a Cat Fort, And Also, We’re Moving

Like a small child, Cambria likes boxes more than toys. She especially likes boxes that are already turned on their side so she doesn’t have to waste the effort to jump in.

Cambria is very good at being as lazy as possible while still getting what she wants. She feel’s this is a talent that should be shared, thus she wants to present to you…

Cambria’s “How to Build a Cat Fort for Dummy’s and Smart-But-Lazy People”

Step 1: Sniff out the box that is a:easiest to climb into, and b: filled with the least amount of stuff and the most sunshine.

Step 2: Try to lie in it in several positions to check for ultimate comfort.

Step 3: If/when your human tries to get you out, purr loudly and look as cute as possible. They will melt, and let you keep the box.

Step 4: Relax and enjoy your victory with a nap in your new cat fort.

And there you have it, one of Cambria’s greatest talents, along with always managing to spill her water, and somehow tunneling under the bed even though there is literally no room down there because we use it for storage. Seriously, it’s like her own personal Moria, and I have no clue how she does it.

I guess I should tell you about the second part of the blog title now, and why there are so many boxes available to Wonder Cat, huh?

As the title implies, we’re moving. What the title doesn’t tell you is that we’re not just moving apartments, we’re moving cities. Two weeks from yesterday we will be moving to San Diego, California.

Long story short, Tyler has a friend who works down there, and had been after him to move. We always ignored him, figuring that there was no way God was calling us away from Hingepoint, the church plant we moved here to help start. But his friend is a persistent little man, so after dismissing him out of hand for several months, we decided to pray about it, assuming that God would confirm that we should stay in Bakersfield. Nope. So here we are, almost four weeks later, packing and apartment searching, and already resigning our jobs.

I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet that we’re really doing this. A month ago, moving wasn’t even a thought in our minds, and now we’re off on yet another adventure. And though we don’t know any of the details yet except for where Tyler will work (and admittedly large detail that we’re very happy is nailed down), we are excited! God is doing big things, and we don’t ever want to miss out on it.

Cambria, of course, is blissfully unaware of any of this. When I asked her what she thought of moving, she just got super excited and licked my ear, because moving=boxes. And because cats are just weird like that. As long as there are boxes and tuna, she will follow us anywhere.

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Filed under California Dreamin', Cambria, Cats, Caturday, Faith, Travels

le cinquième CATURDAY

Since I know you’re only friends with me for my cat, you get two cat posts in a row! You lucky ducks. And lucky Cambria. She basks in the fame. In fact, I think it’s getting to her head a little bit. A few posts on a blog, and BOOM, she thinks she’s the Queen of England. Or at least the Queen of the Apartment. (You know, like that new Bruno Mars/Eminem song, “Had a dream I was king queen, I woke up, still king queen.” No? Not feeling it? Okay. I’ll move on.) Now she thinks she can sit wherever she likes. Like on the bath mat when I’m about to shower…

"Dis texture is pleasing to meh. Ai shall stay."

Or on the bed when I’m trying to make it…

This picture is clearly post-make, but you can still see how in the way she was. Poor throw pillows and stuffed alligator, there was no room for them because someone was in the way...

but she cares not. She licks her paw in your general direction, you son of a silly person. Now go away, or she shall taunt you a second time.

Or on the bag that she pulled out of the plastic bag sleeve, out of the kitchen, and onto her favorite bit of carpet…

"Tha's right. Ima queen. Ai do what Ai wants."

Please ignore my piles of books in the background. I've run out of shelf space, and now they live in stacks on the floor. I suppose it's time to invest in another shelf.

Why do I put up with such ridiculous behavior, you ask? Because she’s a cat and her brain isn’t very large, that’s why. And because at the end of the day, she does stuff like this with me…

She lies on my lap and purrs happily while I read. (Yes, I’m using a neck pillow. They’re crazy comfortable. Don’t judge me.) And she purrs and meows whenever I get home like she’s missed me so much she couldn’t stand it. And she keeps my feet warm at night. And she wakes us up in the mornings with a snuggle, like she missed us all night and is excited we’re awake again. And she does funny things like try to catch raindrops as they fall down the window. And one time when I cried, she licked away my tears. It was probably just because they were salty, but I’m going to pretend it’s because she knew and cared that I was upset.

So yeah, my cat is a total goober. But I wouldn’t change her for anything.

(Oh no. That got unexpectedly sentimental and gooey, which can only mean that this week is going to get worse very quickly. I apologize in advance for any hormonal and overly emotional outpourings that happen over the course of the next several days. It’s not my fault, and I don’t like it either. I promise to return to normal as soon as I can stuff the hormone monster back into her closet, which could take a while. That joker is feisty.)

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Filed under Cambria, Cats, Caturday

Hooray for Caturday!

I love Caturday. It gives me an excuse to talk about (and take excessive amounts of pictures of) my favorite person cat. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I sometimes forget Cambria isn’t human.

I’m so familiar with all her little sounds and expressions; she’s a very good communicator. There’s the “I want more food” meow, a purr that says, “I’m lonely,” and a certain little yip that says, “I hate it when you leave me home alone all day. Now rub my belly and tell me I’m cute.”

We had our first small group meeting this week, and during the ice-breaker I had to name one of my embarrassing habits. As I thought about it, I realized that my most embarrassing habit is not one of my many ODC-induced oddities, like always counting the walls and  ceiling tiles wherever I am, but talking about my cat like she’s human. And also talking to my cat like she’s human. It’s pretty bad. For example, I shared this little exchange went down when I had been working at my book store for about three months…

Me: “…and when I got home, she had knocked over the trash can and there was garbage all over the kitchen and living room. I was livid!”

Boss Man: “That’s crazy. Who was watching her.”

Me: “No one. I left her home alone.”

Boss Man: “Home alone?! How old is she?”

Me: “Two, almost three.”

Boss Man: “You left a two year old home alone?!! Who does that?!”

Me: *light bulb clicks on over my head*: “Um, Bud, she’s a cat.”

Boss Man: “Oh. I thought you had a daughter.”

Me: “No, not that I know of. Cambria is a Siamese cat.”

Boss Man: “But I really thought you had a kid!

Me: “Um. No.”

Boss Man: “Huh. I always thought Cambria was a strange name for a kid.”

So there you have it. Proof that I will probably be crazy cat lady in T minus twenty years and counting. Now if you’ll excuse me, my furry mini-human cat is demanding attention. I just got the “I was playing and I spilled all my water on the floor but now I’m thirst. Halp!” leg-brush-and-loud-meeeh-sound combo. Motherhood Duty calls.

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Filed under Cambria, Caturday