My Cats Lack Boundaries

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I have six cats, (3 girls & 3 boys) four of whom were born and raised in my home. Their mother was a stray I had rescued, but she managed to get pregnant before I could get her to the vet to be spayed.

The cats, especially the boys, are very… clingy. I’m not talking about their claws getting stuck.. oh, that’s another story… I mean that where ever I go they tend to follow. While I’m at my computer, they’re often camped somewhere close by. However, if I get up to watch tv, get food, or utilize the restroom they’re RIGHT THERE.

Essentially, I can end up with a parade of cats as I walk around the house, all the more if I have food in hand, because then the girls come down and join in.

They also tend to lack boundaries. I mean, they’re cats and I’m sure they have boundaries, but apparently I’m not supposed to. If I go to sleep they’ll crowd the bed, sleep on my head, or just push me right off my pillow. If I’m in a room and shut the door, with them on the other side of it, they’ll whine the most pitiful noises to get me to let them in where I am.

In the past I suspect they weren’t always fond of sharing me, but fortunately, they like Chris, a lot! He can’t sit down for more than 10 seconds, if that, before Einstein kitty comes over and sits in his lap. Never mind that she was upstairs sleeping, Chris is here, GET DOWNSTAIRS!

If Chris is sitting on the couch it’s worse because then not only will Einstein decided to cuddle up on him, but then Edmund or Fluff will jump up on the back of the couch and start grooming Chris. I suspect they believe he’s one of them.

Honestly, I’ve never seen my cats ever react so lovingly to another person before. Individually each cat has had their favorite human amongst my friends, but they all, without a doubt, love Chris.

I took that as another positive omen.

So my boundary-lacking cats will follow me around the house everywhere. If I’m in the shower sometimes Finnegan will begin to paw at the shower door prompting me to check on him. When I open the door he’ll stand on the edge of the bathtub, while I block the shower water from spraying out the shower door, and proceed to talk to me. Seriously, dude, it’s cold outside the shower, can we have this conversation later?

Every time I get up from my computer to use the restroom at least one, though occasionally as many as three cats will follow me in. The thing is, my male cats are not small. One cat, Big Boy, fits his name to a T. He’s lost weight, but he’s down to 25lbs. He looks like a small gray bull or a lot like the bulldog in Tom and Jerry cartoons!

I suspect they figure I’m a captive audience and they’ll be very pushy for attention as they walk back and forth around me. If my hand is down at my side, they’ll walk up and place their head beneath and force me to pet them as they walk by.

On whole this behavior isn’t too disruptive, however…

Cat on Toilet

One early morning, years ago, as I had just risen to get ready for work, I blindly wandered into the restroom. I was sitting there doing my business as Edmund, the quietest cat of them all, followed me in. Ed was sitting directly in front of me, but I barely had my eyes open, still in my sleepy daze, and thus I failed to notice that Ed had become quite curious to the glistening stream going into the toilet. Within a few moments I was WIDE AWAKE. Ed had shifted into hunter mode and decided to investigate the shimmering movement. In doing so he tagged me with a claw where sharp objects are simply never meant to be! OH MY GODS!

From that day on I have never allowed them into the restroom with me if I’m not quite awake.

Boundaries are clearly not something my cats seem to observe when it comes to me.

RANDOM MUSIC

For your listening pleasure – Dream of Me Baby…

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Dinner with the parents – Their first meeting

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Chris and I

In just about 6 short months Chris and I will be married. Though we decided just two months into our relationship of this decision, Chris wanted to be a bit old fashioned. He wanted to have a ring in hand before asking my father for permission for my hand in marriage. This is why we didn’t announce our engagement until four months later, in early November.

I’ve already been in wedding planning mode for over a year as two of my best friends have also gotten engaged prior to ours and both planned to wed in 2013. I will be performing the wedding ceremony for one and am the maid of honor for the other. So shifting gears and planning my own wedding, to me, wasn’t so difficult. After having helped with a number of weddings over the years I’ve come to understand what is most important for me in regards to my own wedding: our loved ones present, the ceremony just as I want it, and good food. Priorities!

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My engagement ring: Alexandrite stone in palladium setting

After we made our engagement official and jointly announced it on Facebook (seriously, we coordinated that one), we started to put some of our plans created over the last four months into action. First order of business after the announcement was to schedule a dinner for our parents to meet.

Hahaha! Yeah, right! Trying to sync up 6 different people’s schedules isn’t as easy as you want it to be. It only took a few weeks, but we finally managed to find a date that worked for all involved.

I had a good feeling about it all. Knowing his parents, my dad and his girlfriend, I figured they’d get along well enough. Once we all gathered and each were introduced, dinner went along just fine.

I wanted to utilize the time to update Chris’ parents on our wedding plans since I knew my father was up to date on everything already. This was the moment I was a tiny bit nervous about.

To my knowledge, Chris’ mother, whom I understand to be a church-going Christian, was yet unaware that I was pagan, much less to the extent of my involvement in paganism. She’s never even asked how we met, which was at my Pagan Meetup! I had absolutely no idea how she might take the news that our wedding ceremony would be pagan.

Just a few days after our engagement announcement my father’s girlfriend, Joan, called my house and we talked for 45 minutes on perhaps the most personal level we ever had in the 10+ years they’ve been dating.

Joan is a Four Square Pentecostal. I remember hearing from my father that when they began dating they’d attended a gathering with her church friends, and if asked he was to inform them they met at the local swimming pool where Joan swims daily for exercise. They actually met at ballroom dancing classes. But for some peculiar reason this was not acceptable. I don’t really understand. To be honest, the thought of my, then, 70 year old father picking up women at the community pool sounds much more racy than meeting while ballroom dancing. Apparently, the minister at her church disapproved of dancing all together. Ballroom dancing is the gateway activity to the devil?

On our phone conversation Joan was making the suggesting that Chris and I consider having the wedding ceremony in a public park to save money. I like the idea of a Spring wedding outside, but I have very specific ideas about our ceremony that involve live steel swords and alcoholic honey mead, both of which are unacceptable at most public parks in our area. I also don’t relish the idea of random yahoos wandering about my wedding and being inconsiderate morons as I have witnessed at other weddings held in public spaces.

Joan didn’t understand as she had no reference on which to picture the ceremony. So, I proceeded to explain pieces of the overall ceremony, cautiously spoon feeding her the information as to ensure the least amount of resistance to what I was explaining.

With regards to religion, people, especially when they are in unfamiliar territory, can put up walls and might not listen to what you’re endeavoring to explain. Hence the spoon feeding.

sword-keysI chose a cultural route and bypassed the theological one, for now. I figured it was easiest. One of the aspects I want to incorporate into the overall ceremony is a Norse (you know, Vikings!) tradition where we exchange keys and a sword. Chris will give me a set of keys, as though to say, “What is mine is now ours”, and by accepting them I am accepting responsibility for our family and home. I will be giving him a sword as if to say he will be responsible for protecting us and keeping us safe. There’s more in there, but I distilled it down for her since she has little to no previously known exposure to paganism.

Joan seemed to appreciate not only the tradition, but also that I took time to explain it to her. This made me realize that I’ll need to write out a program for the ceremony for attendees since many of them are not pagan.

Meanwhile, back at the Black Angus for dinner… I tried dearly to get a word into the conversation so I could update his folks about our current set of plans. (His father likes to talk.) I explained that we planned to get legally married on May 13th (our anniversary) by my coven leader since she is ordained and will also be conducting the big ceremony when we have it. So, there it was… “COVEN”. If his mother was unsure of my religious leanings before she likely isn’t any longer. I just laid it out on the table for all to see.

She didn’t flinch. In fact she was smiling because we were talking about the wedding. I began to fully realize that she has two boys and no daughters, so discussion about the wedding might be of great interest to her as she won’t get to be the “mother of the bride”. Oh!

Surrounded-by-love

Chris and I plan to finance our own wedding and because of budgetary concerns we decided we’ll aim for a May date for our big ceremony/reception, but under our current circumstances we might need to wait a few more months. We did a head count and we were at 200 people for the wedding. Regardless of how frugal I can be, it’ll still cost a fair penny to put together. And as I’ve already explained, having our loved ones present is one of the 3 main priorities.

Joan, again trying to be helpful, wondered why we didn’t just have a medium sized ceremony in the summer instead of two. I had to explain that May 13 was our anniversary and therefore important for Chris and I to have as our wedding date. Also, we didn’t wish to cut the guest list as it was already cut.

Our guest list could have topped 400 easily if I didn’t show some restraint. For gosh sakes, I have 53 first cousins alone! We had both created an A and B list and mine were both HUGE. I further explained that between my adoptive and birth families, my large but close circle of friends, and my coven… there it was again! “My Coven”, but she didn’t budge. His dad seemed a tiny bit perplexed though. I think he actually stopped long enough to pay attention at that moment. Hehe!

Overall, my worry was for naught. Dinner was delicious and went along fairly smoothly. Thank the gods! *exhale*

And for no real reason I’ll add this Herb Alpert song here on the end… just because! 😉

Zombie Jamboree

I have extremely eclectic tastes in general, but with regards to music there’s hardly a genre I dislike. In fact, there’s only one that I detest; “slow jams” or romantic rap. I would much prefer to listen to Muzak versions of disco, opera, or even mariachi over that.

Music is an integral part of my day to day. I’m the type of person that generally needs music, or the TV playing in the background, to distract part of my brain so that I can focus on the work in front of me. Otherwise, the experience is agonizing for me. Also, depending on the type of music, I can actually become more efficient and work faster with little to no mistakes.

As is my general custom, I put on one of my playlists as I settled in to focus on some work. Today’s selection was off one of my “Randomness” playlist; I have several labeled as such, each on a different media resource. I chose to start in the middle to add an element of, well… randomness. The song, “Zombie Jamboree” popped up, the Rockapella version, but the Kingston Trio version was next in queue. Just then Chris, my fiancé, who was busy on his laptop on the table behind me stopped what he was doing and laughed when he realized what they were singing.

 “Back to back, ghoul, belly to belly
Well, I don’t give a damn ’cause I’m stone dead already
Back to back, oh oh oh, belly to belly
It’s a zombie jamboree

One female zombie she wouldn’t behave
See how’s she’s dancing out of the grave
In one hand she’s holding a quart of rum
The other hand is knocking a conga drum”

He looks at me, smiles, and declares I have unusual taste in music. Aye! That I do.

Chris, for the most part, is very partial to metal and consumes a steady diet of various metal: Black, Death, Thrash, Speed, Folk… yes, there is such a thing as Folk Metal. No, it’s not a bunch of Haight-Ashbury hippies headbanging; it’s more like modern day Vikings singing songs of conquest and praise for the Norse gods. It’s actually a fact that won Chris big points with me on our 3rd date.

I was searching for a particular CD and lamenting my inability to locate it. We were getting ready to head off and Chris asked what I was looking for. I explained it was my favorite Viking Folk Metal band, Týr. I assumed he had not heard of them since many of my friends were unfamiliar with them. In fact, I had to import my first Týr CD from the Faroe Islands (where the band is from) because they weren’t yet available in the US like they are now. As Chris looked at me grinning and said, “Of course I have Týr! Who do you think you’re dating?” a huge smile swept across my face. He then explained he had two of their CDs in his truck, and as I stood gazing upon him from midway up the stairs I became a bit awestruck at this piece of news.

I took it as a good omen.

Emails – In Satan’s Service (WHAT?!)

Meetup.com
Meetup.com

I run 7 different Meetup groups. Meetup.com is a website that hosts groups of various topics to create in-person social networking groups. There are thousands of topics and groups all around the world.

I run a variety of groups: Japanese (culture & language), Geekdom (geek culture), Pirates (historical reenactment), Pagan (pre-Christian beliefs), Witches (those who practice witchcraft), Leading Ladies (women Meetup organizers), and The Cemetery Girls Tea Society (a women’s social club).

I get emails from both members of the groups I organize as well as “non-members”, people who are members of Meetup.com, but not of the groups I run. Overall most of the emails are basic questions regarding a group or an upcoming event. However, on occasion I will get a ridiculous email so outrageous I have to document it.

I readily admit I can be a pain in the ass about how I deal with some emails that I have deemed ridiculous. If I’m asked a question, and somehow I know they really mean to ask me something else, I will not volunteer the answer. I will answer the question asked and nothing more. From my perspective if they want to know something it is best they choose to ask me directly what they want to know, instead of beating around the bush or trying to get to their answer from a sideways direction. But if they make a ridiculous request and/or foolishly assume things about me in their correspondence, then to me I feel as though I have no choice but to have fun with it.

Perhaps one of my most ridiculous and outrageous emails came from a “non-member” a few years back. Just for reference, my screen name is MistressPrime (no space between the two names). I’ve also removed all the other names listed in the email.

Hello Mistress Prime,
My name is [NAME] and I am sending you this message to make a
request. I hope you don’t mind me asking as I understand that
I’m not a “member'” yet. I just wrote this message a moment ago
but was unable to send it. My former girlfriend ([NAME]) dropped
me like a hot potato in December for truly no apparent reason.
We had been living together for almost 4 years!  We had just
returned from a fun and romantic weekend in San Francisco just
a couple of weeks before, and she came by my place and said it
was over between us? We had actually maintained somewhat of a
friendship for a while up until May, when she said she never
wished to see or hear from me again? I just found out that she
has met a guy and asked him to live with him in a 1 bedroom
apartment with her teenage daughter (very unhealthy). The
things I am going to ask you may very well happen anyway in
life, so the requests are not in my opinion much of a stretch
of things that might very well happen anyway.
My wish/request is that you or someone in the group will cast
spells on her and this guy with the following consequences;
That she would have a severe and abrupt falling out with this
guy (I think his name is [NAME]) and that the relationship would
end quickly and immediately as she has just grown tired of this
guy with no forewarning for this guy. And that this guy would
lose his job. And this guy would suddenly become severely ill
and unable to function at all (like mononucleosis). And that
they will be unable to have any type of physical relationship
whatsoever.  I don’t know what he does although more than
likely he doesn’t earn much of an income anyway.  And she would
ask this guy to move out immediately with absolutely no
warning.  I wish for her finances to turn disastrous and
collapse. She is a straight commissioned hairdresser and
business has been down anyway. I want her clients to dwindle to
3 or 4 per day in her Tuesday thru Saturday workweek, and that
her last appointments each day would be after 6PM. And she
would have automobile problems that will cost her hundreds of
dollars for repairs. Money that she just does not have. And
that she would face severe emotional depression as her world
continues to disintegrate before her. And her friends [NAME] and
[NAME], [NAME]and [NAME], [NAME]and [NAME]would abandon her as
they are disgusted with the choices that she has made. And that
[NAME] and [NAME] would stop financially supporting her so she has
no other sources of income available. I want her to contact me
for help, humbly, and I have always been here for her and would
have given her just about anything if she would have only
asked, and have given anything she wanted when we were
together. As you can see I am upset but really wish her to be
shaken so that she can see that it wasn’t so bad after all
being with [NAME]. If you need me to attend a meeting to have
these spells come to pass I’m not opposed, but I would request
that these calamities happen immediately (as I understand
October is a great month for the occult). I do believe that
Satan is the Prince of this world, and if you have a direct
connection with Him I would ask you to please have him unleash
his powers of sadness and woe upon her and this guy. I want her
to wake-up and see what a mess she’s made of her life and her
daughter’s!
Thank you so much in advance for allowing me to share some of
my anger that I hope will translate into prayers to Satan. I
believe He will answer requests when it is to inflict a little
pain on someone. I don’t wish death upon her, just severe
unhappiness for the bad choices that she has made.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE Mistress Prime.
[NAME]

There is so much wrong with this email! Initially I read it with both disbelief and laughter while at the same time felt his ex-girlfriend was incredibly smart to get away from this guy.

Ok, so perhaps one of the first things you should know about me is that I practice a polytheistic pagan religion (Wicca) and much of my personal belief system is based on pre-Christian and some Eastern theology. Satan doesn’t exist in my world and thus I do not have a “direct connection with Him”, but clearly, that’s a non-issue for this guy. I have a strong belief in karma as well, and therefore I do my best to be mindful of my own actions.

After laughing a while at this message I decided to respond. I explained I would help him with his request, but I had certain requirements, payment, for starters; I don’t work for free! My fee for a service of this magnitude was $3,400. I further required both his and her last names and locations. Lastly I needed a sacrifice from him… his own blood. I don’t believe I specified a quantity.

You might think I would consider doing the job based on my response. Nay. I wanted the ability to contact his ex to let her know what he was doing. I had a feeling she would not be surprised, but a heads up might be appreciated. The work that I planned to do was to ensure her and her daughter’s safety, health, and well being and that his request be a gift to himself. Remember that kids saying, “I’m rubber and you’re glue”? Essentially, I planned to help his energy of harm for her find its way back to himself. The money was then to be donated to a battered women’s shelter.

So what was the blood for? I honestly thought that if the money wasn’t a big enough obstacle for him that perhaps the requested sacrifice would be. If it wasn’t then I had a greater insight to what level of whacko I was dealing with.

Though it really shouldn’t be surprising he did not further communicate with me regarding his request. Can’t say I’m sorry to lose the business on that one.

His Favorite Joke

I’m newly engaged (Nov. 11th). My beloved fiancé has a goofy sense of humor and it often makes me laugh and smile. This is a quality I deeply adore about him. He has this one joke that, when asked to tell a joke on the spot, he always uses.

A neutron walks into a bar and asks, “How much for a drink?”
The bartender replies, “For you? No charge!”

It’s ridiculous, and I know it by heart now, but still… every time he uses it I can’t help but smile.

Oddly enough, I also have a joke that I’ll utilize when posed the same question. It too is a bar joke.

Two guys walk into a bar.
I don’t know why the second guy didn’t see it.

Observations & Opinions from Outside the Broom Closet

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