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Worst Week Ever

I started out week with four kitties; today I have none.

A few hours after my boyfriend picked up Sushi’s ashes, my other cat Plop started dry heaving in front of the food bowl. Down he went to the vet where he later died from too much liquid inside his little lungs.

When Sterling told me after work, I cried hysterically while holding Sushi’s ashes in my arms.

I never expected to lose two cats within four days.

Plop was my first-ever kitty. I never really liked cats beforehand, but when I saw him outside our apartment limping on three paws, bloody scars and matted fur I told him he would be mine the next time I got paid.

I didn’t care what he was: dog, cat, ferret…..I decided this animal deserved love and medical attention.  

So one week later, I ended up with my first-ever cat!

My neighbor told me she tried to save him and learned when his parents moved away, they took off his collar and left him to fend for himself. I always resented them for that, but in a positive light, if they hadn’t, I would never loved him.  

Plop was always polite. After nights filled with cat food frenzy by Sushi, Plop would still whimper to have his food placed inside his bowl.

He would never go outside, instead just stare out my room window for hours at a time. And he slept at my feet every night.

He did not appreciate Sushi or Fleabait. We would call him the Enforcer; he would retaliate against the other two for attacking his best friend, a Siamese named Taka.  

Friends would come over and ask about his unique name as he’d waddle down the hall. “Why did you call him…” thunk! “…Plop? …nevermind.” He could literally fall over in mid-stand! It was so cute!

His personality was unlike the other three. It would really stick out when Grandma and Grandpa would visit while Sterling and I would vacation. Three of them would come out for a formal count, but Plop would (presumably) hide. My mother searched frantically until she spied a furry spot under the kitchen table. “You idiot I’m right here!” His eyes would express. “Now leave me alone. Ugh.”

When Sushi died we asked if he knew something happened. He’d just stare back. I personally think he was happy Sushi died. I told him, “Well Plop your nemesis is dead.”

Who knew Plop had only three days left to live.

After the nurse administered CPR and he died, Sterling bent down and told him that he brought great joy to me and that he has the distinction of being my ‘first ever kitty.’ He died from pneumonia.

Thanks for the Memories…

He died under the best possible circumstances: presumably in his sleep, indoors, while I was away at work and before I went on a 2-week vacation.

But no matter what – I still sorely miss my little Sushi.

He’d chew my bills, painfully knead my legs, bust open the bathroom door while I’d be inside, paw my food, sleep on my face, lick plastic grocery bags, cry at all hours of the night, leave fur on my designer clothes, escape outdoors, rip open cat food bags, hide inside kitchen cabinets, sit on my alarm clock while blaring and tear apart all my toilet paper.

In other words, he was the best cat ever!

I first found Sushi about five years ago under our downstairs neighbor’s window crying at a bird. I felt bad for the stray and wanted him to have a better life so I stole him.

While at the vet, a girl across from me inquired about him and suggested I name him Sushi. (She also stole her cat; she found hers in a trash can.)

Over the years, I’d grown to love my little twitball.

I’d even harshly lecture him around Halloween not to go outdoors. He’d just look blankly at me with his big round eyes and twitching black whiskers.

When I saw him lying motionless in my room Monday afternoon, I lost it. I bent down, tenderly checked his closed eyes, petted his soft head and tearfully whispered ‘I love you’ in his cold furry ears. I even told my boyfriend he still looked cute in death.

‘Sushi-Doo-Shi’ was the most adventurous cat anyone could ask for. And even though I know death was something I’d face eventually, I’d still save him all over again.

I know he’s in a better place now – swimming in chocolate pools amongst poinsettia filled forests with on-call catnip dealers. Better than any life I could ever offer him.

I’d do anything to get him back again. God took him too soon from me.  

Happy Halloween!

Boo!

Love Sushi and Fleabait!

(Image from almightguru)

The Best $5 I Ever Spent!

Really?

Should it really be this hard to make my NCAA Tournament bracket? I know I should be enormous thought into buying a car or deciding a husband, but a bracket? It’s draining to do two of them.

Yes, I do multiple brackets. Multiple brackets could ultimately make me sound smart or desperate for money. I prefer to take the higher road!

Last year, my boyfriend and I did our own brackets then chose an experimental method for a third – flipping a coin and putting my cat Sushi’s name on it.

At one point I’m proud to say he was beating three-quarters of the work crowd who participated.

Sushi, by his own admission, kept licking his paw when I excitably told him ‘it could finally be my year to win!’

Slurp. Twit ball.

This year, I decided to change my strategy. I ignored all previous intuition and went with my first impression…I’ll miss my $5. That’s a whole gallon of gas these days.   

Several studies have shown that millions of dollars are lost every year on workers spending time filling out brackets and watching games on TV’s and computers.

But, at the same time I think it brings all of us together. I mean, now you know Julie in accounting does your paychecks and she likes cherry pie and you two can now gossip about the geeky copier guy at the water cooler.

And what about Bob in IT? Since you gave him his favorite cookies, he hooked up your computer this year for you to watch the games (on mute of course.)  

And it’s all because of some yearly stressful tournament bracket! It brings both sexes, all races, and colors together all in the name of, well if you’re lucky maybe $150-$200!

So who did I chose to go all the way? I won’t lie – many can attest that I chose UCLA. And I’m proud to.

I take online classes from their Extension program. Have one more to go before I get my screenwriting certificate.

I will admit though I did glance at other people’s advice as to who to pick for potential winners.

But you know what?

No matter how teams are ranked, it comes down to the day they play. And how excited the players are or aren’t and how the opposing team is.

That bracket decision is made that day – not by me or by the millions of others with highlighters ready in hand to mark their win.

No, not even a black cat named Sushi can work his ‘magic’ to make ??? to win.

So just remember even though Julie may look like she knows who’s going to win, don’t be enticed and be swayed to change your choices. She knows as much as Bob and Joe the mail carrier as to who will win.

You never know. If we can send man to the moon….. then Austin Peay can go all the way.

At least that’s what Sushi scratched out with his claws last night on his bracket!

Spending Time with the One you Love on Valentine’s Day

If you haven’t heard or seen by all the decorations, Valentine’s Day is this week. Over the past week or so, I’ve been thinking on how I should approach this delicate holiday.  

I’ve always thought this holiday was made just for women by women. I think many men would also agree with me on this one, but remember that is MY belief.

Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a nice bouquet of overly expensive roses and rich chocolates though. But this year I have to switch it up. Not by choice mind you.  

A few months ago I was bedridden with a mind blowing migraine for four days. After that experience I promised myself that I never wanted to go through that again.  

So I have been healthy ever since – drinking more water, less cola and eating more fruits and veggies. Essentially I have been traveling on my own path to eternal happiness.  

I still have a long ways to go, but I am officially on my way.  

Which is why I’ve decided to spend this Valentine’s Day with the one person I love and admire the most in my life – me.  All my self-help books tell me I need to love myself before I can love anyone else.  

I plan to spend this festive day with my kitties – Sushi and Plop – and a glass of red wine. Oh wait, that causes migraines too.  

Well, I can enjoy chocolates. Oh wait….there’s always my TiVO. Tim Gunn doesn’t have to know I have a secret crush on him while watching eight straight hours of Project Runway.   

I can have my own pick of beautiful and interesting men. But I can also raise my self-esteem and watch reruns of Celebrity Rehab. Which then brings up the point – who hasn’t been to rehab yet? Oh wait me, maybe that’s why I haven’t found someone worthy! 

So how should one celebrate one’s self this holiday? With the finest things in life:

·        Champagne

·        Chocolate covered cherries

·        A warm bubble bath

·        Good juicy novel – maybe a romance one

·        Oh and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s – two very important men in anyone’s life! 

It’s hard to ignore all the red decorations hanging in grocery stores, flower shops and brand name stores, but to keep one sane, one must do that. It’s only one day out of your life you know. Life will go on and it’s called February 15th.   

Clean the Clutter, Cleanse the Soul

The headline reads, “Thousands Evacuate, Widespread Destruction Predicted.” 

No, it’s not from the recent devastating southern California fires, but from a newspaper dating back to Hurricane Katrina. I found it on my bedroom floor along with many other historic looking artifacts. Namely to-do lists, old concert ticket stubs and the occasional receipt for – you know what? Let’s just move on….. 

I promptly decided after seeing my past life scattered across rugs and under blankets that I needed to clean up my living space pronto!  

Introducing Project Life. The new reality starring Kellene Stockwell (and many trash bags.) 

With the help of my two curious pawing and pouncing cats, I snap on some latex gloves and get to work. I discover items once thought lost forever: small cut out recipes, historical newspapers (“Vote Today!” as in the ‘04 Presidential election) and old bank statements. Who remembers the last time I had $1,000 in savings? I don’t!  

Not since the unearthing of Pompeii has there been such an extensive project. 

I categorize stuff into three piles: the throw away, stow away and get away.  I also had the ‘think about later’ pile just to please my indecisive side. Really, who would keep a copy of the lyrics to D**k in a Box? That fad was over faster than a relationship I had back in college. 

As my throw away pile got larger and larger I started to take stock in my accomplishment. Only an hour into it and I had three paper bags full of just plain crap.  

Now don’t confuse the throw away with the get away. Oh no, intricate delicate wording I explained to my boyfriend stated the get away was only for donation purposes. Like a small bon voyage to a newer life to somewhere else with someone who deserves/needs those items. Maybe that brand new glass set (that I just couldn’t live without) would make a nice gift for someone’s party.  

The thing that amazed me the most though was how could I collect all this stuff? My God. We live in a society where stuff is king. Imagine, someone out there really is making a buck off that single coffee pod machine I spied in a Macy’s ad I just tossed. Why can’t people just use instant and a pot of boiled hot water? Because Americans want — check that ‘need’ the latest and greatest thing out on the market. But if you think about it – when do you see yourself using a salad leaf separater? 

Floor space comes with a high price. But sometimes it’s worth chucking the dozens of used Time magazines for a more tranquil setting. Or so I read in one of those Time magazines. 

Stuff can also be used as a measure of age. For instance, I collect sentimental items like a 1990’s quiz I saw in USA Weekend magazine. I placed it inside my senior high school yearbook. When I look back, I want to see what OTHER events happened outside of my own selfish teenage world. Like did OJ do something bad? Other than that sports robbery in Vegas? I didn’t pay attention.  

As for my stow away items, well, who can really part with a limited edition Britney Spears perfume? It smells ultra sexy. (Perfume doesn’t go bad doesn’t it?) Other items include a writing job rejection letter from the Late Show with David Letterman dated 1995 (it gives me motivation to continue), and three magazines detailing how lead is tainting children worldwide (even though I don’t have children!). They each had small articles on how great American Gangster was ok?     

And being the news junkie I am, I actually started a collection of 9/11 items. Six years later I have five binders full of articles and pictures. Ironically it wasn’t until 2002 that I realized I had amassed a historical document. My grandfather even asked me, ‘does Donald Rumsfeld know you have this stuff?’ It was a defining moment in my collecting life.  

But now it’s cluttering my closet and turning into kitty chew toys. (“I can’t replace that. Stop it!”) After wrestling one of those 9/11 papers from Sushi’s mouth, I turned around and saw it – the most precious site of them all, stuff only I’ve heard stories about – the carpet! It was tan. And surprisingly still clean from the last time I saw it way back in…..hmm…..

I felt great seeing the massive bags of trash I had accumulated. My cats loved them too; they played inside and ripped up more papers. Most importantly though I had taken a weight off my shoulders. I had proven to myself that I can still live in a somewhat organized and clean place. 

But for now you’ll have to excuse me. I have to clean up the vomit the cat hurled from eating a used Kleenex.