I know where their filthy mouths have been

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Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels

There are two water glasses on the bookcase next to my bed, but I only use the one with a cover and a steel-straw. The other glass is for my cat's use — that way, they can feel as if they’re getting some prime-human water, and I don’t have to drink their backwash.

If I were dying of thirst and had forgotten to bring a glass of water to bed, I still wouldn’t drink from that glass. It’s not as if the water isn’t changed out daily, but just the thought of drinking it creeps me out.

I do all the things that people who are bananas over cats do, such as constantly sharing pics of them, make myself immobile if one is sitting on me, and give them way too many treats. Oh, and talk and write about them all the freakin time. …

It was 1943; how was she to know he was on the run?

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Photo by Jukka Heinovirta on Unsplash

According to my mother, life used to be much simpler when she was growing up in the 1930s and 40s. They didn’t have the same kind of violence and anger that we do now.

The truth is the past was equally as dangerous — especially for my mother, who came into direct contact with an old friend after he had changed from a farmhand to a mass murderer.

On February 11, 1943, while 18-year-old Amos Raymond (Ray) Latshaw was tending his rabbits, he witnessed another drunken altercation between his father, Amos, and his stepmother Olive, on the family’s ranch outside of Loomis, California. …

Ignoring them isn’t good enough.

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Photo by Daniel o'dowd on Unsplash

Politics aside, we can all agree that Donald J. Trump is a narcissist. When he doesn’t get the attention, he thinks he deserves — a mind-blowing amount, he strikes out, has a meltdown, or acts outrageously. He’s never been one for taking the high road, and he appears to be incapable of showing any grace.

On the surface, it may seem as if narcissists are like regular people — they might have their moments where they go over the top, but that’s just them being emotional or feeling things deeply.

Words that describe narcissistic behavior include arrogant, cocky, manipulative, selfish, demanding, and self-centered. They’re not known for being generous (unless used as a ploy,) considerate, or empathetic. …

The wisdom of cats

The greatest writers throughout history had cats and followed their advice, according to my cats.

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Photo by Carlos Deleon on Unsplash

Although I’m not literate in the language of cat, I’m able to translate much of what they say — not all of it, but enough to know they have many opinions about humans. It doesn’t matter much to them if you understand what they’re saying or not — they’re going to tell you anyway.

Recently, my cats, Josie, Jimi, and Carlos, sent me a message regarding my writing. Allie, our Russian Blue, was too kind to want to get in on this teardown.

Here are their thoughts, observations, and criticisms of my writing ability and work habits.

Learn to accommodate us.

As cats, we don’t care what tools you use to scribble your words; whether it’s a keyboard or pad of paper and a pen, it’s all the same to us. The important takeaway is to learn how to write around us. …

If it’s not slander or libel, take it as a win, and move on.

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Photo by Vivek Doshi on Unsplash

“If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” — Anne Lamott

Writers should be able to write about their experiences and the people they’ve encountered in their life. But you may feel differently if you’re the subject of a piece of writing and isn’t complimentary or 100 percent true.

What do you do when you’ve been bad-mouthed on the internet?

Let’s say you acted honestly and respectfully in a situation, but the writer misinterpreted your actions, and as a way for them the process their feelings, they’ve not only written about what happened; they’ve written about you in very unflattering terms. …

Cat holidays

All gifts are welcome!

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Photo by Jeanie de Klerk on Unsplash

My cats are fed up, but not in the ate too much kibble way and will do a panoramic-vomit. They’re annoyed there are over 25 cat holidays, and they’ve never benefited from any of them.

No one has ever said, “Hey, Josie, Happy National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day,” and to be fair, we’ve never inquired if she has any questions or offered to answer them.

There have been no celebrations of any kind for National If Pets Had Thumbs Day, National Cat Herders Day, Or National Dress Your Pet Up Day.

Fat characters can be accepting of their bodies too.

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Photo by Luísa Schetinger on Unsplash

Whenever something comes out with even a hint of fat acceptance, people start complaining that it’s glorifying obesity — the worst thing you can do!

Make fat characters be something more than stereotypes? Maybe even admirable? The world would spin off its access, and people might be forced to admit their biases and prejudices against larger people.

What does glorifying obesity even mean?

Let’s break it down: Glorify means to elevate, praise, promote, glamourize, and represent as admirable, even when it might not be. Obesity, as I’m sure you know, means fat, or as the online dictionary says, “grossly overweight.”

No one is trying to glorify obesity because it’s not an action, an ideology, or a thought-process. …

Funeral for a toxic friend.

TaB wasn’t delicious but it was part of my teenage life.

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Photo by Kous9 on Unsplash

We’re gathered here today to celebrate the life of TaB, Coca-Cola’s first diet drink. I’m glad so many of you Tabbies got the memo — TaB would have been thrilled to see you all dressed in pink and wearing sashes with the words “Sugar-free” on them.

Let’s take a moment of silence to remember the life of TaB and grieve the preferred diet beverage of girls and women between 1966 and 1982.

57 years-old is too young to die, but in all honesty, you died when Diet Coke was introduced and burst all your overly-carbonated dreams. …

Animal Advocacy

The bond between a feral cat and a human is just as strong as one with a non-feral cat — maybe even stronger.

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Photo by Humberto Arellano on Unsplash

After our beloved cat, Yoshi died; I wanted to get another cat just like him — longhaired, with gray and white fur. I ended up with a rescue feral kitten with short black and white fur named Carlos.

The only things Carlos and Yoshi shared were an inherent sweetness, a fondness for being held and petted, and an abundance of love.

Carlos helps us heal, but when I tell people that we adopted a feral kitten, they react as if we’ve put our lives in danger by allowing him in our house.

People tend to look at feral cats as if they were monsters and undeserving of any kindness and care. But the elements of these cats' lives, such as their homelessness, predator-vulnerability, and shortened lifespan, are their fault. …


The benefits of peeing outside the box

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Photo by Juanita Swart on Unsplash

When you’re a cat person, you make an unspoken deal with your cat to provide them food, water, affection, toys, shelter, and safety, and in return, your cat promises you nothing.

Hey, there’s a chance they’ll throw you a bone and sleep on your feet when you’re sick, or scratch up your easy chair, so you’re forced to get a new one, but cats — like dead men — don’t make promises.

The problem is, cats — no matter how close you are to them, have a hard time trusting people, and when someone breaks that trust, it pisses off your cat big time. …


Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, The Startup, Tenderly, Fearless She Wrote, MuddyUm.

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