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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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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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.

Pumpkin Ass Juice

I have pumpkin ass juice all over me. There is a trail of pumpkin ass juice across my living room and out the back door.

I thought I could make it.

I swear that last night my jack-o-lanterns were fine and healthy specimens waiting to transition to the outside world tonight. I hadn’t put them out yet because last night was a damned monsoon.

However when I got home this evening, they had changed… SIGNIFICANTLY!

I glanced up from prepping dinner, and had to pause at what I saw. Both pumpkins looked like they had just stepped away from shooting the Nazi face melting scene in Raiders.

At first I thought,”Oh, they’ve tipped. Silly, nosy cats. ”

Then, “OH MY GOD DID I LEAVE THE CANDLES BURNING ALL NIGHT?!  WHY AM I NOT BURNED ALIVE?!”

Closer inspection revealed that both pumpkins had collapsed in on themselves and that the interiors  were forests of blackish green mold.

 As with any dead body, decomposition was happening and juices were seeping …off the table and on to my carpet.

This pumpkin peed itself.

There were paper towels and plastic gloves in my future. As well as a race against the clock to clean up the mess before trick or treating started and I had to turn the lights out. I’m not in love with trick or treaters.

The littler pumpkin was easy enough. A few paper towels to sop up the puddle of liquified gourd, and a Target bagged slipped under its now pliable, spongy bottom.

Unfortunately, the larger pumpkin was sitting in its own puddle of juices and began to squish and leak even more as I tried to maneuver it off the table.

This called for another Target bag and a two handed grip. A smarter person would have just encased the whole mess in a garbage bag and called it a day, but, no, I had this.

Except for the part where I ran across my living room to the back door as rotted pumpkin ass juice spattered down my front, oozed through my fingers and on to my  shoes and carpet.

Imagine running with, let’s say, an un-diapered baby who has diarrhea and is happily making it rain with the occasional semi-solid plop.

The black spot on the right is mold.

I can only handle one physical/emotional/bodily juices life crisis a night so I really hope this is it for tonight.

I don’t think my squirrel army will even touch these.

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******My stupid ,fucking horrible, neighbors are setting off fireworks! Halloween fireworks????!

Happy Halloween: My Cats are Terrible Pumpkin Models

The one time of year that I'm a major artist.

The one time of year that I’m a major artist.

There’s something satisfying about gathering a collection of knives and then eviscerating an unsuspecting gourd or two. Ah, Halloween.

Of course, I feel that my creations could only be enhanced by adding my cats in to the mix even though they really question the importance of Halloween.

Olivia Wigglebothum was game…sort of. Olivia and Halloween do not have  a good history. At least her tuxedo reflected some of the light instead of turning her in to a black blob. Unlike Miles.

Don't sniff the fire.

Don’t sniff the fire.

It is in the “I Own a Black Cat” contract that I am obligated to pose Miles  with Halloween implements. He doesn’t totally love costumes although he is not opposed to them if treats are involved. The next easiest step is asking him to stand near a large fruit (I looked it up: fruit).  AND LOOKING AT THE CAMERA.

We are challenged by the backyard and our attention span.

We are challenged by the background and our attention span.

Somehow his cat Spidey-sense tells Miles the exact moment to turn his head as my finger presses the shutter. His psychic abilities are stunning. He has no idea when to move so I won’t step on him, but he can totally tune in to the minute function of my iPhone.

Add in the challenge of trying to capture the glow of the pumpkins plus the velvety plushness of my house panther, and I pretty much maxed out my storage with crap photos. I even withheld dinner until we were done; kept him focused.

Our best try.

Our best try.