Napping Cat is a Happy Cat

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Day 73

As you can probably tell from my many, many pictures of Theo’s various napping positions, he loves naps. Ever since we got him, naps have been his favorite thing. Of course, for all I know, he could be resting up for a busy night of hunting ninja mice (in which case, sleep away my friend) but more than likely, lately he’s conserving energy to launch a sneak attack on Winston.

Although he and Winston have their cooperating moments (remember the stolen pizza slice from a couple of weeks ago?!) they mostly just tolerate each other. And by each other, I mean Winston wants to play with Theo while Theo wants nothing to do with Winston – Theo’s lightening moves and kitty growls come out when he gets fed up with the dog pestering him.

Josh and I were talking tonight about how quick Theo’s gotten and how unimpressed he’s become with weird animals that are larger than him (aka the pup). This wasn’t always the case, even with animals that were a little smaller than him.

When we were living in Boston, there was this giant squirrel that would lumber past our bedroom window at least twice a week. He didn’t necessarily outweigh our lithe cat, but he was a fat Boston squirrel in the same way New York gets fat pigeons. Either way though, Theo was simultaneously fascinated and terrified. When that squirrel waddled by, Theo would spring up and, very cautiously, sneak towards the window as if he had a snowball’s chance of catching it. In reality, if the squirrel had ever gnawed it’s way through the screen, or simply beat it down with his little furry squirrel paws, Theo probably would have run the other way (with me close behind!)

Even with the internal struggle between wanting to attack the squirrel and hide from it, Theo didn’t let it affect his napping schedule. By the time the squirrel scampered away, Theo would stretch out in the sunshine and resume snoozing – he applies this same methodology to Winston and it seems to work!

While I’m definitely still a dog person, and I wouldn’t put Theo up for a squirrel defense award, Theo is awesome. He’s a grumpy, cantankerous old man cat that occasionally scratches you with his back claws and may pee on Josh’s feet to lay claim to him over Winston but on the other hand, Theo will sleep curled up around your head purring all night because you’re his favorite person. Even a dog lover couldn’t ask for a better sign of love or happiness!

Jumping Slugs!

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Day 72

After another torrential downpour last night, with some more rain thrown in this morning for good measure, I managed to get to work without wading through too much traffic. In fact, I managed to get there early and as I was walking to pick up a coffee, I ran into the little guy above. Although you see a lot of slugs here because of the wet, temperate climate, you don’t see quite as many with shells. Anyway, it was unusual enough for me to stop and take a quick picture and then I moved on to my morning coffee and book.

At this point, you may think I’ve run out of happy things to talk about on my blog and am left with just a piddly snail on which to fly my happy thoughts. You would be semi right, but only because I spent some time looking up snails tonight. After taking the picture, I started getting curious about what the difference is between a slug and a snail. As far as my uneducated eye could tell, they both leave a slivery slime trail and they just look related (minus the shell.)

As I was clicking through a few links trying to find out more info on just Washington state ones, I came across this gem of an article on jumping slugs. Yup – jumping slugs. You can reread that sentence one more time if you want. At first, I read the article thinking “Maybe this is real. Nature does weird things…this could be real…” but by the time I made it to the bottom of the article, I was laughing so hard I was crying due to this quote (emphasis theirs):

It’s rare to see the jumping slug jump in the wild. In a resting posture, they curl their tail around to the side – appearing ready to jump. But you’d have to hold one in your hand to see it in action. “If you take one and put it on your hand it might just sit there a little while,” Burke said. “Once they get irritated they just start flopping and they’re off your hand in just a second, you know. More like they’re just writhing around like a fish out of water. They just flop around.” If they were trying to escape a predator on a piece of bark or log, that flopping behavior would allow them to lose their grip on the log and flee by tumbling away.

At that point, I was convinced it was an April Fool’s joke BUT there’s no date on the article. Wanting to see what all my crying was about, Josh came over and joined the hunt for jumping slug truth. After another quick internet search, we were left with a short but unsatisfying Wikipedia article that I’m convinced could be yet another arm of an elaborate prank put on by the group behind The Secret Lives of Jumping Slugs. While we may never solve this mystery, the tiny little snail made my day. And that’s what this happiness thing is all about!

Lazy (ish), rainy Sunday!

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Day 71

After a somewhat lazy Saturday night in, Josh and I were up bright and early to take Winston on a long, rainy walk this morning through sleepy Seattle neighborhoods. There were some really beautiful houses along the way that reminded us a lot of the old Victorian-ish houses in Northampton, MA with huge gardens. Granted, a lot of these gardens were mostly built on a steep slant given the crazy angle of the hill some of these houses were on, but it added to their crooked charm.

Before we took him on a walk, we ran across the street to the infamous bakery and repaid all that healthy running yesterday with delicious, buttery croissants and large coffees full of caffeine and cream. Although we had to vie for a table (aka share with strangers) we spent a nice half hour savoring the sugar while hoping the rain would let up enough so that we wouldn’t get entirely soaked as we walked the dog.

This afternoon, we ran our usual errands, Josh got a haircut for his sister’s upcoming graduation (next Saturday!!!! Go Sarah!!) and then we spent the rest of the day being lazy. It was just that kind of day. I finished one book and started another – equally good, which is always hard to do after finishing a great read – and am generally feeling well rested and ready to tackle my second week at the new job. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that it was, at least a little bit, less wet and rainy than ours!

Fiesta 5K!

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Day 70

We had an awesome time running with my sister and friends at Volunteer Park this morning. It was a lot more crowded than the tiny little Alki Earth Day 5k – a couple thousand more – but we were able to either outrun the slow ones or gently use our elbows to scooch between other runners.

There were also a lot of people dressed in costume – there was one guy in some kind of a donkey/sombrero combo running with a blowup beer bottle that was just bizarre (we also rode the bus there with him) and tutus were also pretty common. I even saw one lady with a piñata strapped across her front. When Amanda and I were crossing the finishing line, a guy dressed as an ear of corn was chased across the finish line by another guy dressed as a chicken.

We’ve decided that if we do another run this summer we need to go all out on the dressing up.

The park was absolutely beautiful and a little bit of sun managed to peek through, even though the sky was looking like it could dump rain at any second. To be fair, it did a few times but our luck held for the most part and it didn’t rain while we were actually running. Although it wasn’t as flat as our first run, Josh and I both think we might have stuck to around the same time. For me, that’s not too shabby because I’d taken a break from running after our last one because my foot hurt so bad (this time around, no foot pain, so that’s a plus!)

After our run, we met up with some friends for brunch and had a full day of hanging out in the U-District. At this point though, I’m absolutely exhausted and am dragging myself off to bed. I hope everyone had a great Saturday!

Eve of the Fiesta 5K Ole!

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Day 69

In case you’re wondering, this is Theo right before we packed him up in our car and moved him from Boston all the way to Seattle. We bought him the red harness to use as a secure handle in case he somehow managed to wiggle free from his carrier and roam free in the car. We quickly realized he wasn’t Houdini, however, and the harness was much more useful in making sure he didn’t escape our careful grasp on one of a few emergency stops we had to make to switch out the towels in his crate (because cat for hours in a car sans littler box is messy.) This involves careful extraction of the cat from crate before shaking the throwaway bedding into a gas station garbage can. Once, Josh had to set his little kitty feet on the asphalt while still holding the handle (probably because Theo scratched his arms) and Theo’s eyes got huge, as if to say “What’s this cold stuff? You’re not leaving me here, are you?!”

As you can tell, he basically looked like he was wearing a tiny little cape and for the whole trip we made up superhero names for him. Anyway, I ended up digging this picture out tonight because Josh – very kindly – saved a batch of pictures from my phone to the computer and I ended up scrolling through a bunch from earlier in the year. It’s crazy to think about how many states we’ve driven through in 2013 and, if we really wanted to do some math, how many places we’ve lived since we first got together.

With a great first week at work behind me, I’m almost as excited for the first weekend in a long time that feels like I deserve it off! Tomorrow we are running the Fiesta 5K Ole at 9:30 am with my sister and our neighbors from upstairs (pictures posted tomorrow, of course.) Afterwards, we’re planning on meeting up with a few more friends and either heading to brunch or eating tacos. Participants in the race get a sweet discount, but it’s a toss up on whether 10:30 is too early for me to eat a taco. Wish us fast feet!

Hello Summer!

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Day 68

I know I mention every now and then when we get a peek at sunshine, but today was drop dead gorgeous. It was about 85 degrees and probably broke records for Washington temps on May 1st.

I wish we could say we expect some sun on Saturday during our second 5k run, but alas, there’s a good chance of rain. Either way though, this week was great reminder that summer is just around the corner.

After working almost a full week, we’ve gotten in the habit of giving Winston a pre-work walk and an afternoon or evening walk. This morning, Josh took him on a super long walk because Josh was busy studying for his test tomorrow. Apparently, it was already a little too warm for Winston and he had to lay down in the grass and lick the dew.

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So, tonight we waited until it was dark and somewhat cooler for the second one. As we were walking past the cooking store, we saw (and smelled) fantastic wisteria/lilac smelling tree trained to grow over this arch. It was difficult to see/photograph, but it smelled amazing.

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Although Spring happened gradually this year, it’s still hard to believe winter is over and that (knock on wood) May 1st is the semi start to warmer weather. And, surprise, it’s also really hard to believe that I have 32 days left in this happiness project! I hope everyone had a wonderful May Day!

Pinball Machine, Trivia and a Cinco de Mayo 5k!

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Day 67

Strangely enough, our apartment building Common Room is being renovated after only a few years. They painted, brought in leather club chairs, a tabletop shuffle board and a FREE pinball machine!

That’s right – a free pinball machine. The last time I remember seeing one of those was at a pizza restaurant when I was somewhere between eight and ten years old – maybe younger? My sister was so good at it that we called her the pinball wizard. The next time she visits, we will see if the name still sticks!

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After a beautiful hot day in Seattle, Josh and I headed to our Wednesday trivia for the first time in about a month.We had a great time seeing our friends and answering crazy trivia questions while making plans for the 5k run we are doing on Saturday.

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The Cinco de Mayo run is more of a fun run than the Earth Day 5k and will probably include people running dressed as tacos. We’d take Winston, but the chances of him tripping everyone in his vicinity is higher than me tripping over my own shoelaces (which is pretty high…) not to mention it’d just be sad seeing someone in costume trip.

Although we didn’t win this time, there’s always next week!

A Short Tale of Sleepy Animals

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Day 66

Obviously, if you look at these side by side, you can totally see the family resemblance.

It’s actually sleep time for everyone here – we are all exhausted from a late cat night and long work days – including the pets. In fact, just looking at these pictures, I’m jealous of their ability to sleep any time, anywhere fairly comfortably. Theo can sleep on the bookshelf, the kitchen table, kitchen chair, across the keyboard, the couch or our bed. Winston is happiest sleeping on the couch but also sleeps in the car and in stripes of sunshine that land across Josh’s ikea chair. Although Theo is by far the most versatile sleeper in the household, if he needed to, Josh could probably give him a run for his money.

Either way, if you had a so-so Tuesday, I hope this micro, sleep-deprived post about our pets has cheered you up!

Tiny Spaces, Giant Happiness

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Day 64

Awhile back, we set up a nice little area for Theo to escape the puppy clutches of Winston. At first, we pushed books on the shelf to the very edge, so that he could hide behind them if he felt like being sneaky. This worked for a few months until Theo decided he’d like to stretch out (understandable) and started knocking ALL the books off the shelf in the middle of the night like he was searching for catnip. Since then, we revised the set up and moved those books to the top shelf and now, he just has a whole kitty lounging area complete with a comfy towel and kitty dinner/snacks.

Winston has his crate, Josh has his bike, Theo has his shelf and I have my books. To be happy, I think we all need to visit the little spaces (even the imaginary ones) we claim as our own. It could be a garden, the library, the ocean, a nook in the attic – it doesn’t matter how big or small it is or whether you actually “own” it in the usual sense of the word. If it cheers you up, fulfills you, makes you smile? It’s your happy spot and use it to your advantage!

Sunday!

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20140427-210305.jpgDay 64

Today was another super busy day full of preparations for the next week. We got all the annoying things out of the way – cleaned house, took care of laundry, grocery shopped, meal planned and kitchen cleaned so that our first week as two full time employees goes as smoothly as possible.

This afternoon, I headed down to Tacoma for a celebratory dinner for Amanda at my parents! I got to see my brother – he’s up from California on a short break from his golfing program – and we all had a great time visiting and, as usual, dinner was tasty! We had sour cream enchiladas and a cherry tart for dessert.

After that, everyone settled in to watch Game of Thrones, but I had to eat and run so I could get home at a decent hour. Turns out, this was a good thing.

By the time I got home, Josh was ready to scalp Winston and Theo. He had made a pizza from scratch – ok, using Trader Joe’s dough – and was just sitting down to eat when he got a phone call. He got up to walk to the kitchen and his back was to the computer desk where he had set his pizza when all of a sudden he heard something hit the floor.

When he turned around, he saw Winston dart for the floor while Theo jumped down from the desk to savor his hard won battle against the slice of pizza. Although Winston ate the lion’s share, Theo got in a few good nibbles of cheese and tomato sauce before it was taken away by the Horrible Overlord. We are almost certain they worked in tandem – Winston to distract Josh and Theo to sweep the pizza to the floor.

Thankfully, I was sent home bearing leftovers, so Josh let the beasties live. This was a fantastic weekend, I’m exhausted but hopefully ready to start my new job tomorrow! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend with little to no meal stealing by family pets!