Lately, I have seen around my neighborhood a number of "Lost Cat" signs. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a beloved pet. I know that sometimes they escape through the door as you bring in groceries, or they push their way out a screen and run loose. Animals are quirky creatures who love to be free. However, many times I find that the lost pet was left outside, to come and go at will, with little thought of protection or responsibility of ownership. I find this infuriating.
Look kids, the average life span of an outdoor cat is something like 4 - 6 years, while the lifespan of an indoor cat is more than twice that. Los Angeles is a huge city, crawling with cars, and wild creatures, and people who suck. When you let your domesticated pet outside unsupervised, you are tempting fate and should not be surprised if you find yourself one pet short very quickly. Traffic is a killer. And don't even get me started on the assholes who get kicks out of torturing, poisoning or otherwise brutalizing pets. There are those who will not think twice about leaving anti-freeze in a dog's water dish, lighting fire to a kitten's head, or shooting your puppy so full of b.b.'s that it bleeds slowly to death while you are at work. (and for the record: all of the atrocities that I just listed have happened to animals of people I know.)
Those of you that live outside of cities are not in the clear either. Coyotes regularly patrol for meals around dawn and dusk, as do other hunters. I've even had a woman I know lose a smaller cat to an owl or hawk. (We knew it was some bird of prey, because other of her larger cats had talon punctures.) Growing up in Florida, I can attest to the fact that gators and snakes will also do quite the number on your little furry friends.
To sum up, if you take the time to own a pet... take the responsibility to care for and protect its life. Tend to their illness and injuries like you would your own, and don't leave a domesticated animal outside to their own defences. Especially especially if you have children who are attached to them. Because some memories never completely fade, like sitting in your mother's arms, weeping over the body of what was 15 minutes and one car ago, a beloved family member.
Part 2- Confessions
My parents are happily married, but will often tell you that one of the secrets to a life long commitment is the occasional separate vacation. Therefore, although my Father will not visit until next Spring... my Mother will be here tomorrow night.
I love my parents dearly, and I know that they love me. They have wonderful senses of humor and warm, loving hearts. However, we have differences of opinion on many things, not the least of which is "what is appropriate" or "smart" regarding my forms of self-expression. I like to put cute girly stickers on my car, which makes Dad a little crazy. I dress & behave in a way that has more than once made Mom question my values. This is not an uncommon rift between young women and their parents, and I'm in no way disparaging mine. That being said, it is time to let the cat out of the bag on a few items, so that Mom is forewarned, and Dad knows without having to hear the report from her later on.
1. I have new haircut. It's short and can actually be spiked up into what is called a "faux-hawk". I can also wear it down, accented with cute little clips. Either way, it is fairly cute.
2. I have a new tattoo.
3. I have a BIG new tattoo.
4. I have big new tattoo in a really obvious place.
So go ahead, roll your eyes. Take that moment to be horrified and wonder what the hell possessed me to do that. Get it out of your system now, while you're on the East coast... so that when you're here with me, you can be with me, as I am: your 35 yr old daughter with "boho fashion" sense and a predilection towards body modification and art. While we're at it, let's remember that although I teach 6 - 8 hours of dance a week, I still weigh more than you've ever seen me weigh before. I know it. You don't have to point it out, please and thank you.
Alrighty kids, I think that's all the dirty laundry I have to put out there today.
Happy Monday to you!