The Cats

Monday evening was almost out of a Hitchcock film. I arrived home a little later than normal. I checked for Gray Cat but didn’t see him. So I decided to put out some food anyway, knowing that he’d always had a way of showing up a few minutes after I or my roommate came home.

Soon after pouring the normal serving of Iams (yes, after consulting with Celestyn, I was guilted into buying the “nicer” stuff), a white and brown cat that I’ve never seen before appeared on the porch. I shrugged and let him at the dish, figuring that enough would be left for the Gray Cat. An hour or so later, my roommate came home and commented that two cats (including Gray Cat) were on the porch looking for food. I told her that I already put food out and went to the door to check the situation for myself.

I found three cats at the front door looking in at me through the glass. At first, I was moved---they really are cute in a scraggly sort of way. But then, when I saw another cat walking onto the porch I started to freak out. It was a little too reminiscent of “The Birds.” A row of cats looking through the glass door while at least one other cat paced behind them.

I am heartless. Ignoring their expectant, hungry stares, I turned the lights out and went upstairs.

I couldn’t imagine filling a single bowl with food to be shared by four or more hungry cats. Plus, I don’t like the idea of feeding every stray in my ‘hood. I just don’t have the money to buy that much cat food. Plus, I don’t think that my neighbors or roommates would appreciate it if I turned our front porch into stray cat central.

So, I will continue to feed and take care of Gray Cat. I will probably even take him to the vet soon as he seems sick. But I can’t go out of my way to help out the others. It is sad that there are so many stray and feral cats in my area. I can only hope that the other houses in my neighborhood are continuing to feed them and that organizations like Alley Cat Allies continue to exist.


Four Eyes

This morning my glasses finally broke. The left arm fell off and it has nothing to do with the screw--which means I can't attempt a tape job as before. After consulting with my eyeglass place and a repair shop, it is certain that they can't be fixed without shelling out $70. That almost how much they cost with my insurance. I must purchase a new pair.

I hate shopping for glasses. It truly takes me multiple, repeat visits to various eye glass places until I find a pair that is similar to the old pair

It's an important purchase because it's the one thing (beside my hairstyle...) that I wear everyday. It is also my only regular accessory and fashion statement.

I want dark brown frames with a subtle 1950s cat-eye, basically a new version of the glasses I have now. But of course the brand/style I have is no longer carried and I am forced (as I am every two years) to try on a hundred pairs until I resign myself to the pair I sorta like and eventually come to love.

Please wish me luck and great speed with my search. My eyes and bridge are already unhappy with my super-old pair.


Back in D.C.

I am back to my routine in D.C. I had a really great time in Atlanta. I am very glad that I went home as I was reminded of the importance of putting family and friends first--something I haven't been doing much of lately.

The ride down to ATL was eventless but I enjoyed spending time with my high school buddy and his wife. I definitely plan to spend some time with them, especially as they live only a few blocks away from me.

As expected, my friend's mom's funeral service was heartbreaking. It was a little nontraditional as there weren't any religious references and the time was spent with folks sharing stories and memories. It was simple, moving, informal and classy. It was the sort of service that I want when it is my time.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my friend and the rest of the gang. It was a lovely, unplanned reunion that reminded all of us of how much we love, care and support each other.

As a special bonus, I also got to see my grandmother--who is still recovering from a series of minor heart attacks this year. She'll be 91 next month.

Family and friends. It's something that an independent-antisocial Hippo tends to take for granted. I think that might finally change.


Unplanned Reunion

Tomorrow, I am going home to spend time with my friends and family. Last weekend, the mother of one of my best friends from high school died. Our little circle is making the pilgrimage to be there for her.

It is crazy how funerals can bring people together. Many of us haven't hung out together since college, or even high school. But we will all be there this weekend to support our friend. I guess it is a testament to the strength of the bonds we formed.

The death of my friend's mom reminds me of the death of my own father and the death of another of our friend's mother. It is natural for a child to bury a parent but it seems unscripted for a parent to die relatively young, i.e., before meeting their grandkids.

I can't wait to go home and give all my friends and family members a hug. I particularly want to embrace my friend and help her deal with her lost (by getting drunk and pigging out on greasy food). This is one of life's unavoidable milestones and I can only hope that my friend is able to move forward.



I can't believe the summer is nearly over. I am so amazed by how busy, stressful, productive and fun this summer has been. I think that I have made great progress in dealing with life post-Floyd (though I hope our conversation a few days ago hasn't set me back. He--or perhaps, we--has a way of planting seeds that find a way to haunt later.)

I am keen on finishing up this year the right way. I had dinner with Chatty-Chica a few days ago and she recommended that I create a year plan, a sort of bucket list, to ensure that I accomplish my short term goals--like riding to the top of the Washington Monument during the extended summer hours. It took me 9 years to take the elevator to the top (partly the fault of the renovation...) and I would hate to wait another 9 years before I got around to a trip at night.

My other, more significant goals include traveling. There is a January Mexico girls' trip in the works right now, and I think A-M and I are still aiming for Europe next summer. Other items include connecting with old friends, volunteering every month in my hood, working on my downward dog, seeing at least one show a season at the kennedy center or equivalent, and surpassing 20,000 words in my novel.

I plan on writing out my list this weekend, signing it and treating it like a contract. I am tired of putting off or not taking time for those certain things that I really enjoy but rarely have the time for. I feel that this is the perfect time for reevaluating the direction and wealth of my personal life and doing all I can to make it balanced and thereby, more fulfilling. Yes, this is possibly a part of the "almost 30 panic," but regardless it is still a Hippo Q. sort of thing to do.