Sookie Relaxes

Sookie belongs to Miles. It’s been that way since a day after I brought her home from the shelter. I am simply a provider of food and a possible serial killer in her eyes.

She rarely relaxes around me. It was only last winter that she started actively sitting beside me on the couch while allowing me to pet her. Even when she’s snuggling with Miles, she keeps a watchful eye on me, guarding her man from the two-legged predator.

I do my best to not disturb her when she finally does give in to sleepy peacefulness. There’s a progression. Sookie on her side, belly floof exposed is definitely an adorable start. It’s when she goes for the upside down head and even more belly that she’s really having a zen moment.

I watched the couples version of her relaxing over the course of a morning (I have grading but would rather watch cats sleep)

You can see her changing head and body positions for the deepest sleepiest stages. Until we arrive here at the apex of couple cuteness. So much floof.

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.

reFURbishing

Miles is the only cat in the house who isn’t absolutely horrified by the vacuum. Annoyed? Sure. However he’ll typically sleep through my efforts to clean.

I’ve learned that the payback for his casual acceptance of the vacuum is that within an hour of me cleaning, he will start the reFURbishing process. He will find a way to not just add some hair back to carpet, but to leave actual tufts whether through wild-eyed playfulness or hardcore wrestling. This week, I came running because Sookie was shrieking. Miles went for hardcore wrestling/fighting with her, and left me tiger tufts across the living room.

I swear he’s just thinking about re-hairing strategies in this picture.IMG_7657

Miles Got Jesus

I’m not a terribly religious person. Too often, we seem to use religion as an excuse to berate, hate, stereotype, shut down, and exclude, but that’s a whole other conversation…or a presidential tweet, whatever.

With that in mind, I, unfortunately, hesitated to take Paint By Numbers Jesus when my sister and I went on the last raid of Gpa and Gma’s house before the auction. We were in the middle of Great Grandma’s room, the spare bedroom now, surrounded by open boxes waiting for bidders. I held the painting which was so much bigger than I remembered it being when it was on the wall, with the frame it measures 35 x 18 inches or about two Miles long, and tried to visualize where it could go in my house. I didn’t know why I wanted it other than Gma had painted it, and the kitsch value was off the charts. The mythology of Paint By Numbers Jesus says that Gma spent hours and hours meticulously working on filling in those numbers. There was no cell service to debate it with MomBert and my sister was hesitant to give a firm “yes.” We were both certain there was a smaller painting somewhere, but only found a velvet clown that clearly belonged in someone else’s house, not ours!

So I bypassed Paint By Numbers Jesus in favor of smaller sewing implements, some play dress-up jewelry, a pocket knife, and a cast iron weiner dog that was always at the front door.

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Miles has a lot to consider here.

Gpa passed in August of 2017, but it took his children another year to argue about paperwork, possessions, and land before the auction was set for the house, contents, and a section of property. (Advice to those thinking about their descendants and what you want to have happen after you die, do not put faith in the “better natures” of your survivors and their willingness to “do the right thing.” Verbalized wishes mean squat, put it in the will. The end.)

When our father asked us if there was anything we wanted post auction, I inquired about Jesus. Miraculously, Paint By Numbers Jesus survived the auction! Not sure about the clown. I graciously suggested that he put a bow on Jesus and hand it to me at Christmas. I thought this was a no-brainer because it would be free and zero effort on his part, things he loves.

I did not get Jesus at Christmas. Whole bunch of fucking irony there.

Since there were no offers to just go get Jesus from wherever he was being stored- presumably NOT in a climate controlled, art friendly environment- I reiterated that I would like Jesus and, hey, my birthday was just around the corner! Alas the Amazon gift card I received could not purchase Paint By Numbers Jesus.

This is how it goes with our father. Things that you thought you agreed to, things that should be simple or straightforward, things that seem to be standard in other people’s relationships, become negotiations, traps, hostage situations with moments of begging layered with a coating of bullshit  because you want something that he has whether it’s informational, material, or Paint By Numbers Jesus forbid monetary. The newest fun game every visit is to ask us what we want to inherit while our stepmother chants from the sidelines that we don’t need to worry, that all the paperwork will be in place, and us kids (which includes her children as well) will be equally taken care of! No matter what we respond to him with, whether serious or sarcastic (with that tiny grain of truth), he laughs. During the latest round of this, I said I wanted Jesus. Dad went with his standard ploy of “not remembering” where the thing I wanted was, but relaying how many hours Gma spent working on it.

However about an hour and one trap later, I was invited to meet him to pick up Jesus. He literally waited until I left his house, and was driving out of town to call my cell and suggest this hand off. Jesus was hanging off a wagon handle in a large storage barn along with the other unsold items….and the dirt, mice, birds, weather, and mud daubers that were building tubed nests on EVERYTHING. It was exactly the environment where I expected to find Jesus eight months after hesitating to carry him away.

Paint By Numbers Jesus was my co-pilot home. Those in the know applauded the “I got Jesus!” text messages. Miles was more concerned than thrilled. When I told him the name of the painting, he was like “LAST SUPPER! WTF?! That’s no good!” His concerns for food outweigh concerns for relationships, art, and religion.

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