Archive for September, 2006

Things crazy-busy here. I was out-of-town for two days this last week doing readings, and then, after a long teaching day tomorrow, I’ll head back out again on Wednesday for another two days to do some more readings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted and excited to be giving out-of-town readings, but right at this moment, tonight, it feels as if I’ve got an awful lot of balls in the air, and the juggling is tricky and delicate.

I received a letter in the mail today from The Southern Review accepting two poems, which made me do the Happy Dance, much to the astonishment of the cats. (I won’t tell you all what the Happy Dance entails, exactly. It’s much too embarrassing.)

Here’s a picture of some Freaky Red Cannibal Bugs doing their Freaky Cannibal Thing on some unidentified remnants of some other bug. So there.

Here’s a picture of Vermillion River from a walk I took last week.

And, most importantly, here is this week’s installment of kitten pr0n from Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co. Dear Readers, please be assured that kittens have not been posed or manipulated in any way, and even if proprietor should attempt to force or drape or trick kittens into cute poses they are feisty and satan’s-spawny and wouldn’t cooperate anyhow. All kitten pr0n is 100% natural, organic, and unstaged, as evidenced by the fact that wine stains from Crazy and Better-Left-Undiscussed Wine Debacle of Three Summers Ago (for example, just saying) (and other incriminating tidbits), that are normally covered by assorted covering and camouflaging devices and the like are visible in certain shots.

That said, how can you resist this face?

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Okay, okay, so we’re all pathetic and kitten smitten over here at Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co., we know, so just suck it up and deal with it.

Well, perhaps Yuki isn’t as kitten smitten as other residents of Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co., but she’s definitely coming around. She no longer feels compelled to make Stink Face every time the kitten is in her presence, and she’s now back to her normal Yuki routine: slam-dunking her crackly catnip toys in my morning coffee; opening my underwear drawer and flinging out the contents in the wee hours before dawn; and running up all Ninja-style to the vacuum cleaner and giving it a vicious smackdown with her right paw as if she’s got some sort of Joan of Arc complex or something. At times, she even seems downright fascinated with the kitten, although if he’s presumptuous enough to attempt to snuggle up to her, she indignantly leaps up and stalks off in a huff, chuttering to herself: Who does he think he is? Damn philistine. Bumptious upstart. Has he jumped through all his Yuki hoops yet? I. Don’t. Think. So. Has he paid his Yuki dues?

The Bean, on the other hand, is obviously besotted and is convinced that the kitten is a present I brought home just for him. Sometimes he follows the Niblet into the kitchen, just so he can watch him eat.

Who is that masked kitten climbing up the brickwork on the fireplace?

Still life with Bean, Nib, and Foot.

The kitten has a real name now, by the way. His name is Nobu. (Pronounced know boo.)

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1. Disclaimer

Dear Internets: Should the fatuously gratuitous and compulsive posting of kitten pics and antics make you want to gag, you are warned that you must only proceed further at your own risk. Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co. bears no liability for either the gagging, the throwing up a little bit in the back of one’s mouth, and/or downright blowing of chunks due to the indiscriminate and volatile combination of Silliness and Cuteness.

[Skull and Crossbones] You have been duly WARNED! [/Skull and Crossbones]

2. Niblet Factoids

Weighs 1.5 pounds. (I forgot that cats came that small!)

Was a feisty little mofo at the vet. (Required two adult assistants to hold down all of his wriggling and pissed off 1.5 pounds for blood test!)

Feline Leukemia test was negative!

Is a highly enthusiastic eater!

A Striker of Fear in the Trembly Quakey Hearts of Crackly Catnip Mice Everywhere!

3. The Unbearable Cuteness of Bean

The Bean, seemingly aware of the fact that he’s well over ten times the size of the Niblet, has been unbearably gentle and sweet about taking the Niblet under his wing. Yuki, who typically insists that a Whole Lot of Complicated Yuki Hoops Must be Jumped Through First, Bucko, is still a bit growly  although I caught her yawning mid-growl the other day, and also growling from a luxuriously prone position, stomach exposed, on the bathroom mat, so it’s obviously just Obligatory Yuki Noise  and clearly thinks that this big Bean/Niblet love fest is, to be honest, just plain icky.

4. Eat Your Heart Out, Stuff on My Cat

Hey, there’s stuff!!

On my cat!!

5. P.S.

It’s really nice to have an (Un)Holy Trifecta of cats again.

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The Niblet arrived this evening at Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co., and after an initial tour, set up camp on top of the stereo for a little nap.

The Niblet is, of course, an exceedingly ferocious beastlet. Tangle with me at your own risk, he seems to be saying, because one false move, buster, and I’ll Siegfried-n-Roy you!

Yuki has pulled a Greta Garbo and retreated to the bedroom in an apoplexy of disgust, only to emerge when the Jennie O turkey comes out of the fridge. The Bean, however, is intrigued.

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Clearly, I have been reduced to the reportage of idle bits of tid. I’m not sure if that makes me a bittler of tids or a tiddler of bits, but either option sounds, quite frankly, a little bit dirty.


Speaking of bits of tid, and niblets, and little bits, and the like, look at who might be joining the ranks of Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co. this week.

Can you stand it?


Conversations With My Japanese Mother: Artichoke Heart’s House of Wayward Cats & Co. Special Edition:

JM: (Making throttling noises of disgust over the phone) Wuuchhhh! Why you so stupid like that? You already have too many Brat Cat. So out of control. You should give away one you already have to pound because you don’t know how to train properly. Such bad manner! Nobody can sit there quietly and have nice dinner party. Because you don’t punish. That Horrible Monster Cat try to poke me! I scream! Make me sick! Only good cat was one almost dead. He such well behave. Just lie there and sleep.

AH: Hee.


Conversations With My Japanese Mother: Whole New Yoo Edition:

JM: I can’t wait to see you next time. I been so happy dreaming you going to be completely different. I been dreaming I going to see a whole new you!

AH: Whole new ewe? You mean like a sheep?

JM: No. Brand new. Whole new you!

AH: Whole new yew? You mean like a tree?

JM: (Louder. Because I’m obviously retarded.) No. New and improve! Whole new you!

AH: Um. Well, maybe I just won’t go, and you can pretend that someone else is me, and then think how happy you’ll be.

JM: Don’t be stupid.


Apparently, an entomologist once accidentally spilled the merest bit of moth pheromone on his knee, and after that, he was forever marked. Moths would find him, and skitter and dance around his kneecap like a three-dimensional tattoo.

Whenever I think of this, I’m never sure if I want to be the marked one trailed by a cloud of moths, or if I want to be like one of the moths . . . so absolutely fixed in my certainty about who and what I wanted.

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