Today's post is dedicated to my online friend Jose Kilbride who –– besides being riotously funny and entertaining and charming on Twitter –– is also a gifted photographer who takes the kinds of pictures you don't look at so much as you're transported into. And if THAT wasn't enough, I recently discovered he also has a blog with writing so good you can actually get lost in it. Which then got me wondering what else he can do that I don't know about. Paint? Sculpt? Write limericks? Do long division? Okay, that last one's absurd. I'm pretty sure no one can do long division. Carry the one?? Nobody even knows what that means. THEN I got to thinking about how rude it is for him to hog up all the talent for himself and not leave any of it for me so that all of you people are now left stuck here reading this idiotic crap which, even though I wrote it, is so very obviously not my fault. THANKS A LOT. JOSE.
* * * * * * * * * *
Welcome back, everyone! As many of you already know, my last post turned out to be quite controversial, which means it was filled with things like controversy and, of course, cows. Because where cows go, controversy follows. Trust me. Cows –– I've been told –– are polarizing, which, if I'm understanding correctly, means that they reduce glare, although to be perfectly honest I hardly see why that's anything to get all worked up about. Oh, what do I know? ANYWAY. The good news is that today's post isn't about cows, it's about, well, good news! Because in an unexpected turn of events we've actually had some around here. And this good news comes in the form of Team Um What's newest family member, Gus The Cat!:
Team Um...What??: We're growing!
Yeah, sure. They just had a baby over there at that Dooce place and that is so super exciting WHOOPEE DOO blah blah WHO CARES?! We've got GUS! And believe me when I say the whole family could not be more excited about the new arrival. Especially Chris!
I certainly didn't plan on getting another cat so quickly after Moses, especially with a heart still so raw from losing him. But if you've been around here for any amount of time at all, you know how things normally go for me: Whenever I go to a lot of trouble to make some very specific plan...TA DA! The total exact opposite thing happens.
So, of course, that night I went onto the Kitten Rescue website was no different, and despite having specifically planned to just find a cat to sponsor because I didn't yet feel ready to adopt again, one minute I was looking at the sponsor cats and then a few minutes after that I was on the adoption page (I have no idea SEE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH) and then –– two hours later –– I was still on the adoption page. Staring at Gus.
There was just something him that kept returning me to his page. I can't explain it, just like I couldn't explain the same feeling I had with Moses. Maybe it was his pictures, maybe it was his story, maybe it was the line about Gus being a cat "looking to rewrite the tragedy of his life." Dear. God. But something compelled me to e-mail his foster mom who, in a really inspired twist of fate, turned out to be the very exact person who saved my sweet, old Moses from the shelter on the day he was scheduled to be put down. NICE ONE, UNIVERSE! I'd always wondered who she was and now I could thank her and it just kind of seemed like a sign and sometimes when the universe gives you a sign you read it and so, WELCOME HOME, GUS THE CAT!
Do you people even understand what it's like to be me??
Okay, seriously: This post is killing me. I wrote and rewrote the above paragraphs about finding Gus because first they were too long and then they were too boring and oh look! They're still boring. Because I'm fairly sure this is the kind of useless minutia of my life that nobody cares about and what if this post is like the written equivalent of my forcing a bunch of my vacations photos down your throats?? YOU KNOW, LIKE THIS:
Nice camera skills. CHRIS.
Maureen isn't in this picture because she was all, "Wah wah, I HATE SCIENCE FICTION" and "Yoda Yoda Yadda yadda aliens are stupid" and so she wouldn't even come INSIDE with us because she was just way too good, apparently, which is totally rude if you ask me because on the way over was I way too good to sit on the hump in the back of the landspeeder? NO I WASN'T.
ANYWAY. My point is that my vacation photos are awesome!! Actually, I don't really know what my point is, but that's the kind of blogger I am: One without a point. SO? Also, why are we even talking about this? I'm trying to tell you all about my new cat and you people aren't even paying any attention. PLEASE FOCUS.
Gus has come a long way on his 13-year journey to get to where he is now. Yeah, yeah, I know. He's 13. What do you want from me?? I love the feline old fogies! Are you a cat? Who's retired? And looking for a nice home to live out your twilight years?? Come on over! We've got shuffleboard. And Ben Gay. And those power chairs from the Scooter Store. HAHA! We don't have any power chairs from the Scooter Store. Do I really look like someone who can afford that kind of fancy equipment?? Of course not. WE HAVE JET PACKS.
But long before his retirement years when Gus was still just an unweaned kitten, he was thrown out into a dumpster like he was trash. The medical term for this condition is dear god in heaven people suck. But then this really nice woman found him and bottle-fed him and after a while she discovered that she was so very good at taking care of him that she should take care of people too and so she opened a special kind of group home for the needy that in some circles is referred to as a crack house.
So she did this –– I'm guessing –– by first gathering up a lot of crack and then gathering up a whole lot of people who needed to buy the crack but didn't want to commute to buy the crack because we all know how difficult it is in today's economy to afford both gas and crack and besides, driving around all over town is just a completely inefficient use of time that could be spent in one's house already getting a head start on smoking the crack. Again, I'm guessing. And although our little Gus found himself living in a house like this, it should be noted that Gus is neither a crack dealer nor a crack addict. But when the police raided the place and arrested people and shut it down and boarded it up and blah blah CRIME DOESN'T PAY they did find close to 20 swords in there (TOTALLY TRUE STORY) which I can only assume means Gus is a ninja. Bonus!
And now? Well Gus is settling into his new home as if he's always lived here. And this place, which had become a bit emptied out and gutted as of late, is filled up to overflowing with Gus's unique brand of emotive, expressive, effusive, sloppy love. Now? I spend a lot of time stuck under the cat. Because Gus is always sitting on me or lying on me or jumping on me or rolling around on me. At night he's always sleeping curled up in my armpit or wrapped around my head. He licks and grooms me so much I'm pretty sure my showers have become completely redundant. He gives endless speeches and monologues and soliloquies which I listen to raptly and attentively, because Gus is a cat with a lot of important things to say. And he stares and stares at me. Constantly. Gus spends so much time craning his neck to gaze at me like I'm the singular greatest thing he's ever seen that's he's been known on occasion to accidentally tip himself over. (Which is totally the kind of beautiful expression of love a lot of people could take a lesson from. JARED.) Now? These days? We spend a lot less time moping around here and a lot more of it totally covered in cat spit being happy. Because time might heal all our wounds eventually, but love heals them a whole lot faster.
Welcome home, Gus The Cat! You could not be more different than Moses, but you also couldn't be more loved. Here's hoping you're always really happy here!!
Just another day at Um What Headquarters. Honestly, I have no idea why we ever bother to go on vacation.
* * * * * * * * * *
P.S. I owe special thanks to Maureen for her technical input regarding crack. I wasn't sure if one primarily smoked crack or shot up crack and so I asked her a lot of questions about crack except, of course, for the totally obvious one which would be oh dear god, why does she know so much about crack???
* * * * * * * * * *
Updated 6/29 to add:
P.S.S. I realized in all my fascination with Photoshopping sh*t, that I only included a few actual pics of Gus. So, here are a couple more. Because why even HAVE the intertubes if not to upload 50 gagillion pictures of your cat??:
This second shot is my attempt to be artistic. You know, like Jose. I call this "Open Space With Cat Face." My mom calls it, "What Happened, Did You Drop The Camera."