Happy Halloween. We tried. Not too hard, but ya know…

I struggled a little bit with pumpkin design this year. I feel like the owl was okay, but rather uninspired. The pumpkin on the left totally got away from me. The vision was unclear and the execution was worse. Our Yelp review will be terrible!IMG_E8269a

Perhaps due to the poor designs, there was only a 50% participation rate among the cat super models. I’m not sure where everybody was. I definitely sat on the cold kitchen floor with the camera and a bag of treats for an extensive amount of time.

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The Bird

I guess we’re lucky to have made it this far. Two days later the cat/dragon/geometric shapes whatever was leaking and both pumpkins went out to the garden. Hopefully they will be as popular as the spaghetti squash remnants.

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As always, Miles brought his soulful A-game….mostly because Mommy had treats.

This one is my favorite. Look at those fangs! Happy Halloween!

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Righteous Side eye

Two Targets and a website search later, I could not provide my children with the Cardboard Haunted Mansion for cats. The Target employee who helped me said they suddenly started selling out. I blame it on the number of articles I’ve seen about the house.

Sorry, kids.

However Target #2 did have a small in the lion mane I’ve been eyeing.

Sorry, kids.

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It has a certain rock star quality. I feel like Miles is channeling 80’s Bon Jovi. Side eye and snarrrrrrl.

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Look at that hair toss!

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He hates it, but I think he hates Olivia’s photo bomb more. Indignant!

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Not to be left out, The Wigglebothum brings her dance moves to the stage.

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Sookie also wore the wig, but her photo was just too sad to share. It’s like I broke a part of her heart.

My Dead Cat is in a Calendar!!

So my dead cat is in calendar. That’s not weird, right?

Once upon a time I used to buy page-a-day calendars because they were adorable and the scrap paper came in handy at home and work before all my lists ended up in my phone. I gravitated towards ones like Cuteness Overload which was a variety of animals being…CUTE and featured the word “squeeee” in many of its captions. I would also grab cat based dailies like Cat Fancy, the very literal Cat-A-Day and,of course, The Bad Cat calendar. The Bad Cat calendar was strictly for home use as some of its captioning was a bit too bad for school, hilarious but bad.

All of those calendars came with a submission form so that your pet could potentially appear in the next calendar. In fact, one year early in our relationship Bella Luna appeared in both the Cat Fancy and Cat-A-Day daily calendars. She was such a super model.

Certainly I must have submitted other pictures to other calendars over the years which would explain my mail. Workman Publishing has no idea how weird they could make me feel. I had literally just come in from running errands, one of which was to buy 50% off calendars. I stood in Barnes & Noble debating over the last copy of Bad Cat an hour earlier. Now this!

That letter took a bit of contemplation before it made sense. Cosmo has been dead since 2009. So for at least 10 years whatever photo I submitted has been sifting around their offices, maybe physically, maybe digitally. I don’t know! I had no idea what my cat’s posthumous calendar appearance would look like!

Of course, I had to buy the damned calendar now!

Face palm. Eye roll. My poor Cosmo Cat! Immortalized as Yoda. Could be worse.

That was October 2008, a year before kitty cancer. I was hemming up parts of the costume for a friend’s pug and Cosmo wanted to be in the middle of it all. Modeling was the best way he could help. May the Force be with you.

Halloween Hangover

The best holiday is over and it’s time to clean up. Three perfectly good pumpkins to nibble on, and my squirrels extracted all the vanilla scented candles.IMG_9877

Although their positioning for this one was pretty hilarious.

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We tried revisiting the pumpkin photo shoot, but per usual the felines are awful models.

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Birdie was as obsessed with sniffing the pumpkin cat’s butthole as she is with sniffing everybody else’s.

I tried keeping my models a little hungry, but added in some catnip and strategically placed treats. That backfired.

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Sookie refused to even remotely get involved. “Nope. Just nope.”

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Olivia sort of participated, but her eyes ask, “What the cat shit are we doing? And when’s dinner?”

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This was probably the best shot-Thanks, Miles-, and we are officially done with Halloween for the year. Now I just need to figure out the Christmas cards.IMG_9838

Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Carving Knife in hand

I knew I had waited too long to buy pumpkins when I found that someone appeared to practically be living in them. The cashier told me that they had live-trapped a raccoon in the garden center that week. My concern, of course, was the two cats that roam the store. Everybody’s okay though including the raccoon.
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Halloween snuck up on me. I realized the weekend before that I hadn’t even thought about carving pumpkins which is something I really enjoy doing. Life skills: gourd art. Typically, I steer clear of anything that seems to originate in the evil realm of Pinterest, but I did see this idea online and …well…it’s my life.

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Cat butt.

Successful pumpkin carving requires good Halloween based shows or movies although there was a point when I really wondered if I should be holding a knife and watching something with so many “jump scares.” I made it through the extended “Murder House” episode of American Horror Story’s latest season. Not bad in terms of jumpiness, but I am definitely being bullied by  “mean girls” in my class that are annoyed that I am always an episode or two behind them. They want to talk about it now! They are not going to be happy to hear that my DVR shit itself last Wednesday and didn’t even record the next episode.

Since Halloween seems to be the only horror movie that any channel will air, I headed to Netflix. I’ve seen all the variations of House on Haunted Hill and read the related Shirley Jackson book, so I was drawn to a new series The Haunting of Hill House. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Don’t watch this with a pumpkin carving knife in your hand. Do watch it alone on your couch in the dark. I only lasted two episodes that night because it was late, and because episode 2 had me sobbing to a point my stomach hurt. Warning: box of haunted dead kittens.

***Side note: This isn’t just a cat thing. I HATE it when the horror genre brings in animals, whether it’s the family’s pet or just a random stray who wanders on screen or that fucking horse in season 5 of The Walking Dead. It is always gruesome, upsetting, and completely unnecessary to the plot line. Stephen King, I’m lookin’ at you too.

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Most of my usual work supervisors went to bed although I was able to pique Birdie and Olivia’s interest with some strategically placed treats. I may have to try again for our usual cats vs. pumpkins photo shoot.

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My favorite photo is the tongue action in this shot. Happy Halloween!

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MacBeth vs Catzilla: Happy Halloween!

I can cast the witches for MacBeth:

“Double, double toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake, 

In the caldron boil and bake; 

Eye of newt and toe of frog, 

Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, 

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing, 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

They are all about the tongue of dog.

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Or I can continue the Catzilla franchise. Mini-Catzilla must sniff pumpkin!! Rowr!!

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Supervising and Stranger Things

My home life is a little like that scene from Office Space when Peter points out that he has eight bosses micro managing his existence.

Given, I only have four different bosses, but they are completely up my ass about every thing that I try to do. They question my competence at every turn. I can’t even carve pumpkins without major supervision.

First, there has to be an inspection of the pumpkins. Were these REALLY the best ones?

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Then my top supervisor, the Helper, has to be a part of the whole process. Step by step, he has to put in his squash related know-how. “Back when I was just a feral kitten, we only picked the biggest pumpkins…”

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It turns out that he was mostly concerned with watching the rest of Season 1 of Stranger Things even though he and the other bosses were very upset by the flashback where Eleven appears to be torturing a cat with her powers. They don’t like yowling cats unless they are the ones doing it.

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I think the giant knife really completes the photo.

My at-home bosses don’t realize that at my “real job,” I was told to either watch the series this weekend or be ostracized from lunch discussions. I can’t deal with being ignored at both of my “jobs.”

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Finally, all the bosses had to weigh in on my job performance. I don’t think that this was really my best work, other years have been better. However, none of them have fired me yet or pooped in my shoes.

Belated Pumpkins

This is one of those post ideas that got away from me and is no longer really timely, but who’s keeping track!

I took my pumpkin carving skills on the road this year to MomBert’s house. I showed up with four bargain basement pumpkins since it was Halloween weekend, and eight cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery. We proceeded to murder both!

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PolkaDot Cupcakery is amazing. I feel like I personally keep them in business. That’s probably not a good thing.

However, MomBert insisted on bathing the pumpkins first. For a clean artistic palette, of course. I watched her do this with one of her two pumpkins, a particularly  stem-heavy one, as she rambled on about just exactly how she should incorporate the large stem into her design. I waited until she had a good grip on the stem and I had my camera ready, then simply suggested, “penis?”

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Pumpkin dick jokes never get old.

We camped out out on a tarp to carve as her kittens careened around the room because “OMG, huge orange things from outside!” and “Clearly this plastic thing is for tunneling!”

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Watching cheesy Halloween movies and taking cupcake bite breaks, we successfully worked our way through two pumpkins each.

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Mine are the squirrel and owl scene; hers are the traditional jack-o-lantern and the dude with a penis for a nose.

The bucket of pumpkin guts were strewn about overnight by the raccoon population, but was easily scooped up and dumped near the woods for others to snack on. We wondered if her deer herd would sample some pumpkin bits.

I am jealous of her wild life. She has a deer who licks the bird feeder and then stares in the window in a stalker-esque, peeping Tom sort of way.

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“Hey, hey, whatcha doin’ there? Are those kittens?”

Another visitor maintains just a tad more dignity when he stops by in the evenings to sample the Fire bush.

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So handsome!

Once returned home, my pumpkins barely made it through the Monday of Halloween and cat photo-shoots, before growing their own ecosystems of mold. Wishing to avoid a repeat of last year’s pumpkin ass-juice episode, I put them in the backyard where they deflated overnight. By the next night, someone with claws and teeth had shredded and tasted the leftovers.

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I’m glad I could contribute to my tiny wildlife population, but they pale in the “cool factor” to some of MomBert’s visitors. This photo she took of a box turtle nomming on pumpkin bits is the real reason that this post needed written, timely or not.

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A perfect Fall palette.

It’s a Happy Halloween if we can poop in our costumes. 

I went low budget, last minute, hard to decipher, work appropriate costume. Check the ears, the t-shirt, and the sort of tropical shirt. I did not have time to make six-fingered gloves. 

I’m a Hemingway cat. Duuuh.

My non-Hemingway cats were less accommodating. All mommy wanted were some nice artsy photos with the pumpkins, but I got this instead.

Surly. “Happy fucking Halloween.”

Indifference. “What are we doing? Happy whaaaa?”

And a few for the Christmas card.

The costumes only fared marginally better.

And then the Bird just rolled with it. When you gotta go….

Happy Halloween!