sad kitty news

Last night we lost our younger cat Henry in a freak accident. 

Henry

Henry

He jumped off the ottoman and landed against our tv stand hard and broke his back. It was a jump he'd made a million times before, he just landed wrong and we lost him.

He died quickly, and I am very much hoping without any pain. He was clearly unable to move, and only able to moan a bit before his breathing slowed then stopped.  I pet his head, but I was also alone with the kids, and trying to keep them from hurting him further. It was terrifying and traumatic to see the whole thing unfold, so quickly, and not be able to do anything to help him.

I'm crushed. The biggest little is crushed.  The littlest little is wandering around going "Cat-cat? Cat-cat?" wandering around looking for his friend, the fat black cat who would sit still for his enormous toddler hugs, patiently (or was it terrified?).  Milo, our older, somewhat crankier cat, is also doing the same, wandering around looking for his frenemy and playmate. 

Henry and Milo.

Henry and Milo.

We got him in either late 2006 or early 2007 as a baby kitten. We suspect that he'd been removed from his mom a bit too early as he was super needy and cuddly, but refused to sit on a lap.  He grew quickly into an enormous mass of muscle who was also a big squish.  He loved to be petted and scritched, but still refused to sit down on a lap, preferring instead to pace back and forth, back and forth, over you while you pet him or scritched his belly.  He was super pretty, and liked to pose, and was very accomplished at hiding his giant belly and his buck-tooth fangs, which caused him to drool.  

baby Henry. He never stopped moving, thus the blur.

baby Henry. He never stopped moving, thus the blur.

He was not the smartest cat, at all.  Once, I saw him, completely awake just fall from his perch on the arm of the sofa.  Just fell, shook it off, and waddled off. No reason.  Just rolled off the couch. As you do.

Teenage Henry, before the tub packed on. 

Teenage Henry, before the tub packed on. 

He loved it when people visited the house and would always come say hi, and stay around long after other cats would have (and did) gone for their hiding places. And he tolerated and welcomed every single child who would come through the house, ignoring their yanks and pokes and letting himself be smooshed into baby hugs and pats.  

toddler hugs

On birthdays and mother's and father's day, JBB and I write cards to each other from the cats. Milo is a very dignified elder statesmen, a gentleman of a cat, who signed his name Milo the Cat, Esquire, and of course, perpetually annoyed and somewhat perplexed by his companion, Henry. Henry however was pure energy, bounding and excited, mispelling everything, missing articles, verbs, syntax and often writing in all caps with backwards "e"s  (I HENRY LUV THE FOOD LADEEEEE!). It was totally how he would have written.

giant eyed Henry.

giant eyed Henry.

He LOVED wool, and would knead knead knead away on anything wool. He had a knack for balancing his enormous weight (seriously, 20 pounds AT LEAST) on his tiny tiny little feet, and purring like a madman. 

Henry loves him some wool.

Henry loves him some wool.

He was built like a well-padded truck, solid SOLID muscle under about 2 inches of tub.  One of the saddest things to me was petting him after his fall and not feeling his very alive muscled self, but just ...limp. He died in his favorite place to nap, in front of our tv stand, right in line with the heating vent. 

Henry in his favorite spot.

Henry in his favorite spot.

He got up in my face, headbutting me, nudging my head while sitting on the back of the couch and I am going to miss him something awful. 

And for folks in North Jersey, the folks at the Animal Emergency & Referral Associates in Fairfield are lovely and compassionate. JBB took Henry there when he got home, and they were fantastic. 

Everyone deserves better girl heroes. EVERYONE.

Fair warning, there's some cursing involved here.

I am the parent to two boys. One bigger, one still wee.  My oldest just fell in LOVE with Big Hero 6, and I don't blame him.  It features a multi-racial, diverse case of scientists and engineers of both genders.  The two female members of the six are crucial cast members and are not just one-dimensional fighty tough-girl "kick ass" heroines--they are well drawn, multi faceted characters and are key to the plot. 

Also, Beymax calls the cat a "furry baby".  Which, yes, they are. Bitchy furry babies, actually.  (Scott Asdit's voice acting as Beymax is killer by the by.)

Now, go read this at Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddys, about how a mom went to go make her daughter something out of licensed Big Hero 6 fabric, only to find that the fabric only featured the boy characters from the movie.  Then she wrote to the fabric company to register her issues.  The company's licensing manager (a woman) wrote back.

Disney’s target audience for Big Hero 6 is boys 5-12 and secondary are girls 5-12 and teens.  Since this is geared toward boys, we chose to focus either on the main characters (in this case Baymax and Hiro), or on just the boy characters.  We have found boys do not want girl characters on their things (eeeww girls! Yuck! Haha). Should Big Hero 6 continue to resonate in the market place I think you will begin to see more product and even fabric with all the characters including the female characters.

WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK.  This is RIDICULOUS. 

Oh, look, awesome girl characters in a giant hit! Whooo! And ZERO merch for them because, and I quote from the licensing director at the fabric company's letter in the article: "eeew, girls, yuck! Haha."

I mean SERIOUSLY. SHE WROTE THAT. As a joke or not, a grown up professional--a grown up WOMAN--wrote that.  In a business letter.  A BUSINESS LETTER.

Word, Joan Holloway. WORD. (PS. Don't burn anything down.)

Here I was, so impressed with Big Hero 6 for it's approach to science and gender for kids. Way to fuck it up, licensor! Way to fuck it up.

And it's not just Big Hero 6. Let's look at Paw Patrol, shall we? Oh hey, a token girl character who wears pink.  Just one, mind you. Just one. Out of five.  Sure, there's a prominent human girl character, and thankfully she's not the human character who is constantly getting into scrapes (that one kid, I can't with that kid. There are only so many times I can turn to mine and be like, "for real, DO NOT DO ANYTHING HE DOES, EVER"). They couldn't have picked any other dog and made it female? I'm not asking you to really mess with your viewership Nick Jr, and make Rubble, the building bulldog a girl (though how awesome would that be?)  I'd be cool with the recycling dog, whatever his name is, being a girl.  2 girls, 3 boys. No one can complain about that?

Oh and my oldest little is the one who noticed there was only one girl dog.   He's six. 

 And do not get me started on Disney missing the effing boat--a historically profitable one, no less!--by failing to market the shit out of Princess Leia. COME ON. You, Disney, CREATED the princess business, and yet you fail to exploit the known entity of Princess Leia.  And friends, Leia is a real princess.  She's not a princess in the fudged "main female character in a cartoon by Disney".  What gets me, is that Lucas has ALREADY PROVEN how much bank a corporation can rake in with Leia merch, and yet Disney has still failed to do it.  Why are you leaving buckets of money on the table, dummies?

I am so sick of this kind of approach to merch. It is  sexist and stupid, and worse, it's bad business. I have money to spend, as do parents of girls. And  oh wait, I am a woman. 

I have two boys--I WILL BUY THEM ALL THE LEIA MERCH IN THE WORLD.  I played with Star Wars figures, nostalgia is powerful. I AM YOUR MARKET, MORONS. Target me, and lo, you will have all the monies from me.  Ignore me at your peril. For reals. Because I hold grudges.

And when my oldest came to me on the playground, indignant that a friend of his called him a girl as an insult, I was like, "yeah, so? What's wrong with being a girl?"  He was so mad, you guys.  But I am not buying into that shit, and I am NOT propagating that shit with my kids.  DAMN THE MAN. 

A related digression: the dumbass ads on tv for household products that depict dads as morons? My husband is an awesome parent who does the laundry, and we will both RAIN HELLFIRE upon those commercials and brands that depict him and his kind as HURF DURF CLEAN CLOTHES IS FOR THE WIMMIN.  And those depicting competent, caring fathers parenting their children and playing cowgirl with them? TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE. (Unless you're Tide, because I don't like your scent. Sorry, yo.  But nice work on the ads!)

(Though don't try to enlist me in your war against Lego Friends. I like them. They can do better on the advert and marketing strategy, but I like the actual product. I like the idea of Legos in colors that may be more appealing to the population of girls who aren't already into Legos.  I did not love Legos as a child because I did not like the primary colors or the shape of minifigs.)

 

tactile necklaces

So teething necklaces are a THING these days. A very useful thing, if you ask me, as my littlest little liked to yank the shit out of my everyday necklace (silver chain with the biggest little's thumbprint on it, made by Camille Cesari, who I cannot recommend highly enough for parent/grandparent gifts!).

Oh, ignore the laundry behind me in the bathroom, and the fact that this was the first time in days I was vertical (stupid stomach bug) and focus instead on my accidental coordination of phone case and neckl;ace! I'm a grown up lady who does that thing not at all by accident!

Oh, ignore the laundry behind me in the bathroom, and the fact that this was the first time in days I was vertical (stupid stomach bug) and focus instead on my accidental coordination of phone case and neckl;ace! I'm a grown up lady who does that thing not at all by accident!

They're essentially necklaces for grownups--not for kids--that are made from silicone beads, strung on satin cord with a breakaway clasp (pull hard on the clasp and it'll break apart so no one strangles on it).  Really, they should be knotted necklaces, with knots between each bead to keep it from being a choking hazard, but some of the cheaper ones out there are not handknotted--a bad idea for anything designed for kids.

The silicone beads are firm, but slightly squishy and have a great tactile matte rubbery feeling.  As you wear them they warm up and soften slightly.  And as someone who really likes tactlie things,  it's really really hard to keep myself from gnawing on them. So I squish them instead. 

They're pretty cute, very "statement necklace"-y. And the folks who make them charge a lot for them (rightfully--time + materials + profit = $

But I like making shit. And I like choosing my own color and bead combos. And not paying $60 for something I can make myself.  

So, I hit etsy for some silicone beads, and got a couple of different colors and bead shapes, as well as the breakaway clasps. I had the satin cord already.  An hour on the couch in front of the teevee, and bam, several new colorful necklaces that I can fiddle when bored or let my kid chomp on while I'm holding him!

Do you think the filter covers up the cat hair on the duvet? I hope so. 

Do you think the filter covers up the cat hair on the duvet? I hope so.