Smee: A Cat’s Tail Of Bitterness And Fear And What Happens When You Let It Go

Smee's happy face

A kitten came into this world; about 18 years ago.  She was found in the gutter of the street, alone, and wet.  The lucky kitty was brought to a local vet/animal shelter that was a few doors down from the dentist office that I worked at.

Sometimes after work I would go to the shelter to snuggle and play with kittens and cats waiting to be adopted.  One day I went and there was a new litter of kittens that had been brought in.  They were given names after characters from Peter Pan.  Added to this crew of pirates and lost boys was the tiniest of kittens I’d ever seen.  She had the funniest coloring; sort of a salmon pink and gray.  A tortoise shell breed.  Tortie, for short.  I asked to hold her.  She was very snuggly and loving.  On her belly were gray tabby stripes which is why, though she was not of the Peter Pan litter, they gave her the name of Smee.

As I pet her I found that she had a kinked tail and a deformed paw.  More like deformed claw, I guess.  On one paw was a claw that grew out wide and then would curl under so the sharp part was going into the pad of her paw.  I suppose these malformations and her tiny size (guessing she was a runt) may have been the cause of her abandonment.

Every time I’d visit, Smee was there mewing.  I’d hold her and she’d snuggle and purr like crazy.  It didn’t take long for me to bring the little orphan home.

We already had a cat, Sinclair.  She was a maternal sort and loved Smee immediately!  They would sleep snuggled together and Sinclair would bring grasshoppers in from outside to teach Smee how to hunt.  Smee did not care to go outside.  She’d get to the doorway but would not step out of our little apartment.  Maybe it was because she had bad memories of the outside or maybe it was because she was only a little bigger than a soda can, she just never went outside.

Man and I were ready to get a house and fill it with little people and so we moved.  Sinclair and Smee did fine.  It was just a 20 minute drive from the apartment to the new house.  Sinclair liked having a yard.  Smee liked sitting in the bay windowsills.  Smee did not like meeting new people.

There was a neighbor who would come over, pick her up, and look her in the face.  Smee hated this and would squirm and groan until she was put down.  Man warned the neighbor that she didn’t like being looked directly in the eye.  Neighbor took this as some sort of challenge.  She picked up little Smee-na to be face level and looked her directly in the eye.  Smee hissed and scratched the lady in the face.  She quickly released Smee and left to nurse her wound.

Then Buddy came along.  The cats were curious about the baby but mostly stayed away.  Sinclair brought in live grasshoppers and birds to teach Buddy how to hunt.  Family came to meet the new baby.

Man’s brother came to visit.  He had not met Smee either.  Man warned him not to make direct eye contact with her.  Man’s brother took this as a challenge.  He picked up Smee-na to be face level and looked her directly in the eye.  Second verse, same as the first.  Man’s brother has a scar through his eyebrow to this day.

Next came Bug and then the next 6 years brought 3 moves about the country until we settled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  There was wailing and gnashing of teeth by Man and the cats during each of these moves.  I got the car with the children.

The move to Colorado brought the biggest changes in our lives.  Higher altitude, new terrain, new friends, new school and, a new family member: our dog Drake.  Part of Drake’s training was how to make nice with the cats.

Sinclair did not feel a maternal connection to Drake.  One day she went outside.  I anticipated a live bug or bird for Drake’s hunting lesson but instead she never returned.  I feared the worse and the days turned into weeks and then months.  One day I was headed out of our neighborhood and I saw a cat in the yard of my elderly neighbors home.  I stopped to get a better look.  The cat was, without a doubt, Sinclair!  She didn’t get lost or die.  No! She moved away!  It was a better fit.  She lived with the dear old lady another 3 years and then died in her sleep.

Sinclair’s divorce on the family was taken most harshly by Smee.  She’d never really been happy after our first move and became more bitter with each new child we had.  The loss of Sinclair blackened out what was left of her little soul.  Smee moved as far from the family as she could without stepping outside of the house and took up residence on the top of the refrigerator.

Smee peed

Her face took on a permanent expression of dissapointment and general resentment.      She would descend her perch only to use the litter box in the laundry room but then she even quit doing that.  She’d climb from the fridge to the top of the neighboring shelf and pee.  Man was furious.  He had to dismantle the built in shelving in order to thoroughly clean them.

If the children were not home and the dogs (we got another one) were outside, she would climb down and patter about the house.  She’d sit in my lap while I was reading a book.  Her little paws were so cold that I could feel them through my blue jeans! This happens when your heart is absent.

One day I bought a family devotional and I set it out on the coffee table where we could gather to read together.  I was excited for the family to get home so that we could dive into it!  The kids came home from school and then Man from work.  Finally all were here and I could show them what I got!  I gathered the family to the living room and…Smee had peed on the devotional.  It appeared that Smee was even angry at God for the strife she had endured, lo these many years.  This is when she took on the new moniker, Smeevil.


You heard me.  Smeevil.

After peeing on the shelf for the third time, Man decided that she had to live in the laundry room.  We kept her in there over a weekend with the door closed. Of course, we came in and fed her and gave her fresh water.  I tried to pet her but she’d always bite me.  Eventually, Smee took to her new home and would sleep in the laundry basket on the pile of dirty clothes.

It soon became evident that the reason Smee may have not come down to use the litter box was because she couldn’t.  Her self imposed isolation at the top of the fridge seriously limited her mobility to the point that she could no longer jump down or up.  Even when she crawled out of the laundry basket, I noticed that her movement was delicate.  A vet exam showed no illness.  Just aging.  Her fur was gettting matted, she had a couple of bad teeth that we had pulled but otherwise she was healthy.

Then one day Smee came up the stairs while the whole family was home.  She startled when she saw us all and took off running to the safety of the laundry room.  Surprise Smeetings started to become, well…less surprising.  Sometimes she’d even come up into the kitchen when the dogs were there.  So shocked she seemed to be to see the dogs!  The dogs were curious but not really interested until… Smee would hiss and then the chase was ON!

More strange behavior was seen of Smee.  She started going outside.  At first it was a timid step out on to the back patio.  Then a whole three feet out from the door to roll in a sunny spot.  One beautiful day we had the doors open while we were cleaning (yes, it happens).  Smee went out and laid on the front step!


That’s her happy face in that picture…^^^

This was the day that we realized that she had absolutely no hearing anymore.  With her back to us we’d call her, “Smee-na-meena-mee!”  Not even an ear twitch.  We figured she was just being Smeevil and ignoring us but as the day went on and she slept through vacuuming and kids hollering, turkeys gobbling, and dogs running around behind her, we started to realize that this was what was causing Smee’s new found courage!

No longer hearing the footsteps of children, house guests, or dogs; Smee kept finding herself in places and with people and things she normally would avoid.  The more frequently it happened the more she started to realize that there never was anything to fear to begin with.  She found out the world and those in it, weren’t so bad after all.

Since she’s moving about the house, she’s getting more exercise.  She’ll play with ribbons and hop up into bed with Man and I.  She now sleeps with us regularly (which is not always lovely, to be honest) and purrs her affection loudly.  One night, recently, I woke up to her wet nose touching mine.  She then laid with her haunches on my chest and her throat on my ear and purrrrrred herself to sleep.

She still is not one to enjoy being picked up and hugged.  No one is stupid enough to test the “look her in the eye” thing.  She’s not very fond of the youngest boy but there’s been some love for Buddy.  I guess being man sized means he’s now forgiven for being born.  She tolerates the dogs and they pretty much ignore her unless she hisses and then it’s a stampede of critters through the house.


Lately, I’ve been considering Smee’s life change.  At the age of 18 she’s gone from an isolated space with a limited point of view to being active, tolerant, and brave all because she lost her hearing.

What would happen if we stopped listening to the voice of fear?  What would happen if we got to know those who are different from us?  What would happen if we let go of the grudges we’ve held?

Smee is still a cantankerous old biddy but she’s really living her life now at a whole other level!  She experiences more every day and by releasing some of that bitterness and fear she’s finding that there is a lot of life to experience and love to receive.


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Wigging Out

My friends, I have a story for you.  It’s a story about why live theater is probably the best thing in the world.  It’s a cautionary tale regarding wearing wigs.  It’s a narrative on support and unity.

If you aren’t aware, I’m currently playing the role of Roz in The Evergreen Players production of 9 to 5 The Musical.  Roz is an older, frumpy, busy body in the office.  She’s the bosses right hand woman, the office snitch, and…she’s in love with her boss.

You may be asking yourself, how is a beautiful and stylish woman like me playing an old dumpy broad like Roz.  The transformation was not as difficult as you’d think.  A change in posture and of my speaking voice, a pair of glasses, bland and I’ll fitting suits, and….a wig.

I’ve hated this wig.  It’s so incredibly hot to wear.  The old theater we perform in has AC for the audience in the lobby and auditorium but not back stage.  My suits are wool or polyester.  I wear tights.  And a WIG.  Let’s just say, things are sweaty.  Ugh.

Anywhoo…Roz has this great number where she sings about her love/obsession for her boss.  There are lyrics that say “I’ll let down my hair.”  In the audition I had put my hair back with a pencil into a severe bun so when I sang that lyric I could pull out the pencil and let down my hair.  I was also hoping that, if cast, the director would remember that and think it was a great idea for how Roz could wear her hair.

But no.

Apparently, Clay White (director), hates me and insisted on Roz wearing a wig.

My other prejudice towards wigs, besides the heat, is that something inevitably goes wrong with them.  The audience gets distracted by this I’ll fitting wig that’s slipping and sliding or oddly bobbing on an actors head.  They become a character unto themselves.

I told Clay this but he said I’m too pretty with my own hair.   *eye roll*

Oh, please.

That being said, Clay gets me to do just about anything by telling me that I’m pretty/talented/the best.  I’m a pathetic sucker.

Accolades aside, you wear what your director tells you to wear.

So every performance I twist my hair into about 20 pin curls, top it with skull cap, and then pin my wig on top of all of that.


I also help another actress pin her wig on as well.  Her wig is a bobber if you don’t secure it well.  My wig fits really well and only requires a couple of pins to insure that it won’t slide off.

Sunday night I got myself ready and waited until the last minute to put my wig on so that I wouldn’t make my first entrance in a sweaty mess.  First scene was great. Second, third…all good.

It was time for my big number.  I LOVE doing this song!  It’s so hilarious!  Roz thinks she’s a sexy beast but she’s sooooo not!  The audience cracks up every time!  The song begins with Roz in the spotlight alone singing, “Perhaps I don’t seem like some red hot mama but believe me that’s just what I am….”. On “that’s just what I am,” my wig, ever so gracefully, slid off the back of my head.


While the audience laughed I grabbed the wig and pulled it back down on my head and commenced with the song.

”Inside there’s a fire mixed with passion and drama…” and off went my wig again.  Now the audience is seriously cracking up.  The rest of the cast is in the wings watching the whole thing.  I can’t recall if they were laughing or not but I’m sure they were.

I was going to finish the song and for a split second I died thinking I’d have to sing this song in a skull cap.  Then I recalled my audition.  I turned my back to the audience and ripped off my skull cap.  They went nuts!  As I pulled the pins out of my hair and shook out my curls the audience and the cast were roaring with cheering and applause.  (Man, I love his cast!  So supportive!).

The band started the song again.  At one point, Roz gets on her bosses desk.  I had left the wig and all my hair pins on the desk so when I sat on the desk I took the wig and tossed it behind me into the wings.  The audience was cracking up!  I mean, imagine this ball of hair just flying through the air!  LOL!  I couldn’t help it!  I laid back on the desk and busted up laughing!  We were all cracking up, the audience, the cast, the tech crew, the booth, the band….DYING laughing!

I got my shiz together continued the song and on my big belted note there was more thunderous cheers and applause (as thunderous as you can get in our tiny theater) and the rest of the number went on as choreographed.  My back up dancers, who I affectionately call the Rozettes, joined me and we rocked the Casbah!


The Rozettes exit as Roz’s fantasy starts to end.  She’s again back on the bosses desk, singing her heart out, when he walks in.  Usually, he’s embarrassed by what he’s walked in on and quickly exits.  This time, he threw the wig back to me.

The audience was once again in stitches and I whispered a expletive to the boss….  I humbly put the wig back on and finished the song with as much grace as I could muster.

The experience was both incredibly embarrassing and exhilarating at the same time.  I can not describe the…the what?  Just how cool it was to be laughing that hard with close to 200 people.  I mean, everyone on and off stage was laughing and cheering and we, all of us, were united in the absolute pleasure of live theater!  We don’t know one another’s political stance, religion, sexual orientation, or economic position.  We were all strangers having a gloriously hilarious shared experience.

Dont deny yourself that experience.  Go to live theater productions.  You never know what will happen.

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I saw something interesting today…

Tell me, what you would think if you saw a black man waving an American flag that’s black?  The red and blue parts of the flag are blacked out.

I saw a thread on my community’s  Facebook page.  A man said that he’d been seeing a black American flag waving a lot and wondered what it meant.  He’d seen it on bumper stickers, on the side of the road, and even flying off the back of a pick up truck.

Someone explained that it’s the Blue Lives Matter flag.  The red and blue parts of the USA flag are black and there’s one blue stripe across the middle.  It’s flown to show respect to a fallen police officer.  This man of the original post, a veteran, was offended and was surprised that police would do that to the flag.  He explained that there are rules regarding the handling of our flag and that the colors of our flag were specifically chosen and symbolic.  White signifies purity and innocence.  Red, hardiness and valour, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.

I hear what this man is saying but I also understand that these flags are symbolic of a grieving heart and to pay respect to a fallen comrade.  It’s a peaceful way to raise their voice as a group to say that they are people of value who are tired of the flippant loss of their brothers and sisters.

I had a conversation with a friend this week who was offended because of the black football players who kneel during the national anthem.  She said it was a slap in the face to those who have served our country.  It made me think a bit about why I  stand during the national anthem or to say the pledge to the flag.  Honestly, I don’t stand to honor war vets but for love and pride of my country.  I think of the beauty of our constitution.  “We the people of the United States….establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense….”.  If I was honoring war vets, I’d salute a soldier, not a flag.

When I see those men kneel, I also do not see disrespect.  I see men taking a knee because their heart is grieving and because they want to pay respect to a fallen comrade.  It’s a peaceful way to raise their voice as a group to say that they are people of value who are tired of the flippant loss of their brothers and sisters.

Both kneeling and flying a black flag are protected rights of our freedom of speech. It’s a tool to “petition the government for a redress of GRIEVANCES.”  I’m rarely offended by anyone exercising that right.

These two conversations made me wonder: if one saw a cop kneeling during the national anthem, would they see disrespect or a man who is broken hearted?  If one saw a black man waving a blacked out American flag, would they see a man showing honor or someone disrespecting the flag?  What would you think?  I hope you are very honest with yourself.  If you’re offended by these things, I hope you are equally offended.  If not, consider that you may be the problem.

I do recognize the sacrifices that made our country what it is but that’s not the only thought on my heart and mind during the national anthem.  I’m thinking, “look at us all standing together and singing in unison.”

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Cherish This Time

Several of my friends are mothers of young children.  Infants and Toddlers kind of young.  This is one of the hardest stages of parenting.  It’s messy, dirty, exhausting, wet, loud, and painful.  Moms of young children are in the trenches 24/7 because even in the night they are still getting up with their children for various reasons.  When my kids were this age, I recall a dental cleaning feeling like a full on spa day.  I got to lay in a chair, with out a little person touching me, talking at me, crying, or needing me for 30 minutes!  It was glorious despite the gross prophy paste and the scraping of my teeth and that my jaw was sore from staying open for so long.  TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!

So often I hear others tell these mothers to cherish this time.  “Before you know it they won’t need you anymore.”  They say this like it’s a sad thing.  Like it’s sad to not have to be needed for every. single. thing.  I remember people saying the same thing to me and sometimes feeling bad because I could not cherish that time.  I did not cherish hearing my traveling husband tell me about the amazing meal he had with a client while I wiped our sons snot off of my neck and figured on a bowl of cereal for my dinner that night.  I did not cherish cleaning poop out of the carpet.  People poop.  Not pet poop.  No, I did not cherish potty training and the constant battle of wills.  I did not cherish my oldest sons time of crying unless he was held and crying as I tried to make breast feeding work and crying because I stopped singing his favorite song.

When my sons were little they were cute and clever and funny!  Mostly though, they were so, so, exhausting and gross.

Mothers of young ones:  It’s ok if you don’t cherish this time.  Before you know it they won’t need you anymore!  Rejoice in that!  They’ll be grown before you know it.  GOOD!!  Right now your living room is more of a playroom than it is a cozy place to visit and that’s exactly how it should be right now so don’t apologize for that.  Guess what?  It will only be that way for a short time and then you can have the living room back!  You can lay on the couch and read a book!  A 500 page book without pictures and without a child sitting in your lap who suddenly smells weird because they were working on making a poopy diaper while you read to them.

You’ll get to sleep in on the weekends.  Yes!  It’s real!  The children might rise early but they will get up and make their own breakfast.  They’ll turn the tv on themselves!  You may wake up to find that all of the pets have already been fed as well!

Sometimes you will feel a struggle because you are so unneeded.  They tie their own shoes, do their own laundry, make their own lunch for school….  They will STILL need you but in a new way!  They’ll need rides.  Lots of them.  Everywhere.  Their friends too.  They’ll need advice.  They’ll need you to advocate for him and to teach them to advocate for themselves.  They’ll need you to just hang out and watch a show or to hang out and chat and OH!  The things you’ll talk about!  They will still be funny and clever and also deep and intelligent.  Sometimes, they’ll still talk about the last Sponge Bob episode but then it’s on to philosophy and heart subjects.  They’ll need you to remind them to shower, brush their teeth, and put on deodorant.  No kidding.  It blows my mind that this is a thing still at their age BUT I don’t have to bathe them, brush their teeth, etc.  They do it themselves!!

2018 calender p

I absolutely love my conversations with my sons and I love resting my head on my oldest sons shoulder when he hugs me goodbye every morning.  I love watching them shoot up during growth spurts and giving them crap about their funky facial hair.  I love their smart ass texts.  I am not looking forward to them leaving me because I enjoy them so much right now but, seeing how each of these phases goes by so fast, I know that they will leave and then I can watch them go through all of these phases themselves.  The hard ones and the grand ones!

I’m so proud of my friends of little ones!  They are doing such a wonderful job!  They talk to their babies like intelligent beings and not like tiny pets.  They are teaching them manners, patience, and how to love others.  They are teaching them to love and respect themselves as well as how to put on their shoes and to feed themselves.  Good job, mamas!  I know it’s so hard and it doesn’t feel like you are making much progress sometimes but you really, really are!!!

It is quite possible that you will still have to do everything for them.  That’s why I encourage you, moms of littles, to hunker down into that trench and FIGHT!  Do the hard work now.  Keep focus on the goal of raising capable and independent adults and you will enjoy and CHERISH your grown up children.


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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that I am NOT a morning person.  As a child, there were many a mornings that my mother would wake me in violent and terrifying ways.  Sometimes she would just flip on my bedroom light.  As if the burst of sudden fire light in my eyes was not enough, a flippant but cheery “Up and at ’em!” would usually punctuate it.   (Speaking of punctuation…I know mine’s the worst.  Just bite down on something and struggle through it).  When Mom was really feeling up to doling out pain she would burst into my room singing “Good morning! Good morning!  Good morning!  It’s time to rise and shine!”  This is an actual song with more than one verse.  I got the full song.  All of it.  In college, I learned to turn the ringer off on my dorm phone because my dear mother would call early on a Saturday morning singing “Good morning! Good morning!”  I had a roommate, mind you.  Fast forward and I’m a married woman with children and my mother comes to visit.

“Let’s get up early and have coffee on the patio!” she suggested with real anticipation and pleasure.

I’d beg off but she’d insist.


She’d bang around noisily in the kitchen so you HAVE to wake up.  Then I’d sit out on the patio and drink my coffee.  Mom would talk and talk and expect actual conversation to happen.

“First coffee….then talkie…” I’d explain in as few words as possible.

“Since when were you not a morning person?” she asked.

I just glared at her, trying to figure out if she was serious or pulling my leg.

“Since never.  I’ve never been a morning person, Mother.  Never.  Ever.”

It turns out there is a legit and medical reason that I’m not an early riser.  I have sleep apnea!  No, it doesn’t mean that I snore loudly.  I mean, it does but that’s not why sleep apnea is bad.  You actually stop breathing in your sleep.  Breathing is sort of important and this Not Breathing can cause all kinds of health issues which, thankfully, I do not have…yet…but it sure does make me a bear to deal with in the morning.

One Mother’s Day, my Man gifted me with a Keurig.  This Keurig is special, not just because it makes coffee but, because of it’s location.  I keep the Keurig on my nightstand.  I tried to arrange it so that I don’t even have to get out of bed in the a.m., mug and coffee-pod preset each night before going to sleep.  Problem is that I like sugar and cream in my coffee and Man draws the line at a bedside mini fridge.  It’s ok though because what usually wakes me up is my bladder.  With a full bladder, I get up and prepare my mug with cream and sugar, scurry back to the Keurig to set the mug and pod, then I start the Keurig and scurry to the bathroom.  This way the coffee is peculating while I empty my bladder.  I then enjoy my coffee in bed while working on Words With Friends, work emails, and perusing social media.

It may surprise you that I wake up very early.  Sometimes before the sun is up.  I just don’t speak or get out of bed (sans the mug set and potty) until 9 a.m.  Of course there are exceptions.  Sometimes I have to do Mom Duty (it’s kind of my job) and drive my youngest son to school.  HE knows that I’m not a morning person.  He knows not to speak if I’ve not had my coffee.  He knows his life is in peril if there’s talkie before coffee.  The only other thing that might get me out of bed before coffee is when my neighbor texts offering coffee AND breakfast.  She’s an amazing cook.  Plus, me not cooking is a very big bonus for all.

Now that my sons are teenagers, no one in my house is an early riser.  Not even my dogs.  Well…not true.  Sasha is a golden retriever which means she’s perpetually perky and she really loves to be outside but once she’s out, she leaves you alone.  Drake (rot/lab mix) cares not for the outdoors nor for awake things.  He sleeps in with the rest of the family.  Praise be.  Oh!  There is one early riser in my home.  The cat, Smee.  That’s very likely just do to the fact that she’s a cat and causing others pain naturally brings her great pleasure.  Hm.  Mom, maybe Smee-cat is your spirit animal?

Anywhoo….despite the fact that it is a truth universally acknowledged, that I am NOT a morning person, the morning people in my life keep waking me up and expecting me to DO things.  (I guess I should be capitalizing that, huh?  Morning People.  They are a species unto themselves and therefore it should be treated as a proper noun, I think).  For instance, this very morning….

TEXT FROM V, 6:50 a.m.

OK, usually I’m up by then but I had a particularly active night of apnea episodes last night.  I put my CPAP mask on but I woke up with it off at some point so I don’t know how long it stayed on.  

V: Not sure what your day brings today but do you want to walk and coffee or just walk or just coffee?

People.  Is she serious?  First of all, a “walk” in my hood is The Loop which is 3.5 miles.  At 6:50 in the morning before coffee?!

Me:  I need to walk but, as I just got up my focus is on coffee.  So I guess it depends on when you come over, which I will prefer.

V:  I’m moving and can make it to your house in 20 minutes!  What do you think?  Shake out the cobwebs girl!

Me: Coffee.

V: Do you want me to pick up Tomari’s (local coffee house) and bring it to you or do you want me to pick up YOU and go to Tomari’s?

M: Just come over.  My bedside Keurig has brewed me a cup.  I can make you one too and then we have coffee in bed.  These are the ways of my people.

End Text Thread

It was not long before there was a knock at my door and, I think I recall, a “Toodle Loo!”  I have manners.  I got out of bed and hugged my friend who insists on doing things early with me and pointed to the cabinet where she could find a mug.  She was chatting the whole time and joyfully followed me back to my room.

“Oo!  There’s like a step!” she said as she climbed into my sleigh bed.

She then talked to me about many things, the details I don’t quite remember but, I do know we talked about ski school.  V takes the kids with her son.  Definitely an early risers gig.  Then my mom called.  Mom knows V and so I put her on speaker phone.  The three of us had a lengthy (and lovely) conversation and then V asked me to help her with some social media things.  V is…older than me, younger than Mom.  K.  I’ll say that.  She is about the size of a 14 year old and is full of energy.  So much energy!  She’s a freakin’ hoot and half!  Oh!  V is the one who knitted sweaters for my chickens because chicken sweaters are RIGHT up her alley!  Anywhoo… she is of the age where social media is new and tricky.

“So how do you do find the things you’ve liked on Pinterest?  Did you see that my daughter set me up on Instagram?  Show me how that works!”

We spent about an hour having  a crash course on these, the two media outlets V participates with.  By the way seniors, I am happy to come and tutor you in social media if you ever want.  Did you know there are privacy settings?  Very important to learn about.

I was just about to suggest to V that we take a picture so I could show her how to post it on Instagram and how to tag me in it but I needed to physically get out of bed and dress to go to my volunteer job.  I walked V out and went to the bathroom to put in my contacts and brush my teeth.

Here’s another bit of info about me:  I’m blind.  Legally blind.  No, they can’t do surgery.  I can’t recall why but my eyes are too jacked up.  “But don’t worry!  They are coming up with new advancements every year!”  My contacts provide the best vision for me but one  eye can not be helped anymore than it already is.  I mean, there’s no higher prescription for that eye than I’m already using.  I have glasses but, because the lens in my glasses is not up against my eye, I can’t see very well with them.  Can’t really read with them on and I can’t drive well with them.  I can maneuver about my house though.  There’s a point to this…

I put in my contacts and wiped the excess saline from my eyes and, lo, coming from the right corner of my mouth was dried drool all the way to my chin.

Oh my stars!  That is significant!  That is a significant amount of drool!  Dried!  To my face!  Why didn’t V say anything?!

Text With V

Me: OMG!  There was dried drool on my face.

V: Ewwww!  I’m glad I was on your right side and didn’t see it!  Or thank God for poor vision.  Not sure which.

M: It was on the right.  Dried drool.  Like….a lot!

V: Oh well then it’s my vision.  Aren’t you glad you were in bed with me and not a gorgeous hunk of a man?!

End Text Thread

Forget a gorgeous hunk of a man.  I almost sent a selfie out into Instagram with V and I.  We would’ve both been too blind to have seen the drool.  Oh my lands.  What if I had agreed to go to Tomari’s with her?  I would’ve been in PUBLIC with dried drool on my face!!!


Let sleeping dogs lie.  There is no good reason to get “up and at ’em” before one is good and ready.  Also, selfies are bad.  Finally, social media needs an age limit and I think I may have hit it.

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Smee: Life #9

It’s been…a really long time since I’ve blogged and in past blogs, I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned Smee.  Smee is our cat.  We’ve had her lo these many years.  17 to be exact.  Maybe that’s where I should start…

When Man and I first married we lived in these pretty run down apartments in Dallas, TX.  They were built back in the 60’s and so, for a one bedroom, were pretty spacious.  A mariachi band lived down stairs which made me kind of crazy then but I miss that now…  Anywhoo, while living there a stray cat claimed us.  No, that was not Smee.  That was Sinclaire.  She was a darling, sweet, sterling tabby.  Just a dear!  However, Man and I both worked and traveled and we felt kind of badly for Sinclaire being home alone so much.  (I know.  We were ridiculous.  Cats don’t really need companionship.)

Down the street from where I worked was a Pet Hospital.  They also kept cats/kittens for adoption and I had signed up as a snuggler.  This just meant that I volunteered time to snuggle and pet kittens so they got out of their crates and had human interaction and affection.  It’s a real thing.

One day, I went to snuggle cats after work, and there was a new litter of kittens.  They were all given names from Peter Pan.  One sweet, striped belly kitten was named, Smee.  She was suuuuper tiny!  She was not actually related to the kittens of the Peter Pan litter.  I was told that she came in to the clinic the same weekend that they did.  She had been found wet and alone in the gutter.  She had a kink in her tail and a sort of deformed toe and was extremely small.  It may have been that Mama Cat abandoned her due to all of her abnormalities.  In fact, I think I adored her more for all of her quirks!  She was super snuggly to boot!

Every day after work I went to snuggle Smee.  Then I started going at lunch as well.  By the end of the week I had fallen in love and brought her home.  Somewhere, and I cant find the picture, was a picture of her sitting on our coffee table next to a can of Coke.  She was only a smidgen taller than the can!  Just a teeny tiny little thing!

Sinclaire took to Smee right away.  She would bring grasshoppers and other bugs into the house and use them to teach Smee how to hunt.  It was absolutely adorable!  That was about as affectionate as they got.

Sinclaire and Smee moved with us into our first house and it was there that we brought home our first born, Buddy, to.  Something changed after Buddy’s arrival.  Smee became angry, bitter, and jealous.  She stopped wanting to be petted.  She slept with us less (probably because Buddy did) and she started scratching people.  She nearly took my brother-in-laws eye out!  To this day he has a scar through his eyebrow to prove it.  After that incident we reluctantly had Smee declawed.  She had that deformed toe anyway and the claw was growing under and twisted toward the pad of her paw, plus scratching people’s faces when you have a new born baby…nope.  Well, that was it for Smee.  She never forgave us for the declawing nor for having a baby.  And then we had the gall to have ANOTHER baby!!!

Well, the babies are now 12 and 14 and Smee is still bitter.  For those who follow my Instagram, you are all too familiar with my Bitter Smee pics.  Smeevil, we call her.  She used to sit on top of the fridge or china cabinet and look down on us with disdain.  It started to get too hard for her to jump up there anymore and so she moved her lair to the laundry room in the basement.  There she has claimed a whole laundry basket as her own.  (Sinclaire is no longer with us and is a different story.)  Smee's happy face

When Man is at work, Buddy and Bug are at school, and the dogs are outside, Smee will venture out into the rest of the house and find me.  If I’m sitting, she will climb into my lap, preventing me from doing anything else but pet her.  If I’m blogging, she’ll sit in front of the computer screen and will angrily mew or groan if I try to move her to the side.  When I pet her she likes one pet, two pets, and then she bites the frik out of my hand.  She used to only come out into the house under these conditions.

One night, about a year ago, Smee somehow crept passed all of the sleeping hounds that are on the floor of my bedroom and climbed into bed with Man and I.  It was such a surprise!  It had been YEARS, 13 to be exact, since she slept with us.  (Sinclaire always did but again, different cat.  Different story.)  Smee climbed onto my chest and started to “make biscuits.”  She was kneading away at my bosom and it was none too pleasant.  But how could I tell her no?  She was back for the snuggles and loving!  I would endure the painful poking and prodding so that she would stay.  After several nights of Smee tickling our faces with her tail and 2 a.m. pillow parades, Man began to complain.

“She keeps me up all night!  I get up at 4:30!  I’m closing the door at night,” he ranted!

I talked him down though because it was so special that she was warming up again!  It wasn’t every night but more nights than not, Smee returned to torment us in our sleep.  Smee also seems to be in a phase of her life where she gives Zero $%&#s.  She no longer cares if the dogs are in and around the house.  She does not run from them.  Instead she hisses until my big, strong dogs whine and back away.  Every now and again they’ll run her back into her laundry basket but mostly everyone is just side stepping and do-si-doeing around one another.

In the mornings Smee cries and mews until Man feeds her.  Then she naps on the floor heater, completely covering it with her body.   I should mention that Smee has very short legs and for some reason still looks like a kitten.  She’s still so tiny!  Not as small as a soda can but still a tiny little thing.  Also, as all annoying bitches do, she has the gift of being able to eat and eat and eat and never gain weight.  Every a.m. Man feeds her soft food and then anytime I enter the laundry room (which is a bottomless pit of clothes and linens…) she cries for more.  I feed her small amounts of kibble 2-3 times a day.  When my sister visits she really gets spoiled.  My sister feeds her bigger portions and more frequently.  The evil ones stick together.

There are many examples of Smee’s meanness.  There’s the time she peed in my brother-in-laws suitcase.  The time she peed on top of the bookshelf.

Smee peed

I posted this on Facebook and the comments were the best!  “Smee shaming.  That’s low.”  “Do cats, Smee specifically, feel shame?”



The time she pooped on Bugs homework.  There was the time when she practically lived on top of the shelf and she would beam her empty food cans at passers by.

“She’ll never die,” Man would grouse.

Sometimes, she sits on the stairs but presses herself up to it in way so that when you are coming down the stairs you can’t really see her and then she grabs you, scaring the crap out of you, and coming damn near close to causing you to fall the rest of the way down.  One could break their neck!

“Smee tried to kill me,” I’d text my sister.

There is of course the 3 a.m. pillow parade and the biting after 3 pets.  The hissing at the children as they pass and the constant demand to be fed.

When I turn out the lights at night in the laundry room I whisper, “if you see a light….go to it, Smee.  Go to the light.”  I mean, she’s REEEEEALY old and seems to be very unhappy with all of us.  The kids, specifically.

One day I went down to the basement and Smee was laying in a sunny spot by the sliding glass doors.  She was so still and peaceful, dare I say…happy looking?  I had the thought that she must be dead.  I carefully approached.  She did not budge.  I bent down to examine and see if she was breathing.  She picked up her head and looked over her shoulder to me.  Scared the bejeezus out of me!

Today though was different.  I went down to the laundry room (to do laundry, of course!) and there was Smee in her basket.  Nothing unusual about that but…her food dish was full of soft food.  I checked and she was breathing so I text Man:  Smee didn’t eat.

Man:  I noticed.  I just thought I’d leave it in case she changed her mind.

I pet her and she picked her head up and purred.  I pet her once, twice, three times, four…

Me to Man: she’s letting me pet her and she’s purring.

Man:  she’s like 1000 years old, babe.  She’s probably at the end.

I raised Smee’s food dish to her.

Maybe she just wants breakfast in bed.  That sounds like her. 

She smelled the food but did not eat it.  I offered her water….in bed.  She smelled it and laid back down.  I dipped my finger into the water and touched it to her lips.  Smee licked her lips and laid back down.  I pet her once, twice, three times, four, five…and she let me and she purred.

Me to Man: She’s being really sweet.  I think she’s dying.

I had an appointment at the senior living center.  I had to go and so I pet her some more and told her to hang in there until I got home.

ill Smee

When I got home she had not moved from her basket and I could barely see her breathing.  I offered food and water again.  She refused it.  I pet her once, twice, three, four, and just kept petting her and she did not protest.  I went to pick her up and put her in my lap and she cried and curled up so I left her in her basket and continued to pet her.  At one point I stopped petting but my hand was near and she pressed her forehead into my hand.  I put my face down to hers and cooed and asked if she was going to make it.  She pressed her forehead to mine and we sat there for about a minute or two but then I had to leave to get the kids.

There was carpool and orthodontic appointments and grocery shopping and when we got home, Smee was still in her basket with her faint breathing and loss of appetite.  I scheduled an appointment for her to see the vet in the morning.  I offered her kibble by hand.  She lapped one into her mouth but then spit it out.  Just got the taste of it.

When Man got home we all talked as a family that this could be her end.  Man and I kind of thought she would hang on until Buddy left for college (in 3 more years) just to spite him.

“I’ve never liked cats, that one in particular, but she will still be hard to say goodbye to,” Man said as we quietly ate our dinner.

After dinner I did the dishes and fed the dogs.  I decided to go down and check on Smee again.  She was curled up sleeping in her basket.  I pet her bunches and she picked up her head and purred.  I just sat there near her basket and food and water.  She stretched while I pet her and then she stepped out of the basket and sat at her food bowl and ate a few kibbles.

What the heck…?

Then she walked over toward her litter box.

I ran up stairs and told Man, “She’s a faker!  She’s eating and walking around!”

After I relayed what happened Man defended her, “a few pieces of kibble all day does not mean she’s faking.  Something’s not right and you need to take her to the vet tomorrow.”

I was about to head down to the basement again but….

Smee lives


and then….

Smee lives2


“She is faking it, I tell you!  She just wanted to hear us all say how sad it would be if she died and how we’d miss her,” I told Man, “and she wanted to be fed in bed.”

Man went down to see for himself.  Smee headed down the stairs as he did and lead him to the laundry room as she does in the mornings.

“What is it?” I hear Man say in a sweet voice to that little devil.  “Oh…you want soft food again?”

Next thing I know, Man is running up the stairs to get Smee her soft food.  Sure enough, she eats it.  All of it.

As I finish this blog she is sitting in the kitchen.  Upstairs.  She will never die.


Smee haunt

I waitses and then I strikes.


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Precious In His Sight

This morning a friend mentioned how her child would describe other students in his class.  He described them by their qualities as a person, not based on their physical appearance.  She was so proud of him, as she should be!  Really, the kudos goes to her.

Her son doesn’t see a person for their skin color because she doesn’t.  This is a learned behavior.  Most people would say that they are not racist or bigots.  They don’t support discrimination of people on the big levels (slavery, segregation, etc) but when it comes down to it they are socially segregating people.

A few years back a friend was telling me about her Ladies Trip to Vegas.

“We were all dancing and then this black guy came up and started dancing with us…” the story went on but I honestly don’t remember it.  I just kept waiting for the part in her story that made his blackness relevant.

It’s become a hobby of sorts for me.  When anyone mentions the race, sexuality, body of a person, I wait to see if mentioning “a fat lady” or “this gay guy” was relevant.  It very often isn’t.  That sort of thinking, the categorizing, is a problem.  Our children pick up on it and it creates division.  It may seem a small thing but it makes a huge impact on how they relate to others in society, separating themselves based on their appearances.

When In Kindergaten, Buddy brought home a worksheet on the letter G.  He was supposed to draw pictures of things that started with the letter G.  He drew grapes, a thing that he later explained was a goat, and a black man.  I couldn’t think of any black men we knew who’s name started with the letter G and so I asked, “son, who is this black man?”

“Well, first of all he’s not black. He’s brown,”  Duh.  I know my colors.  “And he’s not a man.  He’s God.”

“Oh!  I love that!  What makes you think that God is…brown?”

“I don’t really remember Him that well before he put me in your belly.  I just laid there a lot with my eyes closed…” and Buddy laid on the ground, arms wide spread, eyes closed and a dopey grin.  “But I know He was brown.”

I really hope He is!  I love imagining certain people arriving in heaven to be brought to the throne room and…

“So, I died.  I go to heaven and this black guy…”


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