7 Days of Inspiration: New Kittens, Bison, and bell hooks!

The past seven days have been incredibly inspiring and exciting for a variety of reasons. First up: new foster kittens! I picked these guys up on Sunday, and as usual, they came with crazy names: Kylah, Kyzen, and Kylene. The momma cat (Kaydee--seriously, who comes up with these names?) is hanging with me too, though she's about 10 pounds away from being photogenic. We're working on it.

These kittens are terrified of humans, especially the kind wielding medication and eye drops. They've challenged me to come up with creative ways to lure them out from under the couch, and as a result, I've tested every long, non pointy object in my apartment, finally settling with the giant Cheshire Cat novelty pen that I got from Disney World ten years ago. (Because of course. Why is life so on the nose sometimes?)

Next up: bell hooks and Gloria Steinem in conversation at The New School. A million thank you's to Vanessa for showing me the RSVP for this free (!) event, which was truly incredible. When I read bell hooks's Ain't I A Woman for book club, I really appreciated how she made feminist theory and history accessible to her reader, without losing any of the emotional poignancy. In person, I found her (and Gloria!) to be the same way. They made some incredible comments about the state of feminism and challenged the audience to continue fighting on behalf of women everywhere.

I left feeling rejuvenated and excited about the next generation of feminists, which will also include Willow Smith--she was sitting four feet away from me with her mom (and fellow Baltimoron), Jada Pinkett Smith. They are both even more beautiful in real life, and I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped open when I saw them walk into the auditorium. 

Finallya new book + bison jack-o-lantern. This week, I've been reading Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, which is everything I want in a novel: a feisty, headstrong lady who turns down men right and left, all while asserting her right to flirt and run her own damn farm. Thomas Hardy's Tess of d'Urbervilles is one of my favorite novels ever, so I know things are about to get real tragic--I can't wait. Anyway, in FFTMC, farmer Gabriel Oaks wakes up in the middle of the night to find that his dumb sheep dog led 200 pregnant sheep over a cliff, where they plummeted to their death. I couldn't get those sheep out of my mind, so when my co-worker invited me to carve pumpkins, I dedicated my pumpkin to them. Unfortunately, my sheep carving got a little top heavy, so I gave him horns and voila! he's now a bison. 

When I light it, I remember how lucky I am to not depend on sheep for my livelihood. Instead, I'll just live vicariously through Thomas Hardy and the Herdwick Shepherd twitter account. If you aren't following them yet, what are you waiting for?


A Kitten Update: Good bye to the world's most perfect kittens

For the past two weeks, I was lucky enough to foster the worlds cutest, most well-behaved kittens. They were foster kittens #16 + #17 and lovingly renamed after my favorite gingers (My friend Carly and Matt Bonner). 

My friends have confirmed--these are the best foster kittens I've ever had. They were so happy to prance from one lap to another, and they never got overwhelmed, even when there were 10+ new people for them to meet all at once. 

They also made excellent coworking partners--lots of lap snuggling and wrist warming.

 I had to send them back early so I could go home to Baltimore to get my wisdom tooth removed. The cab ride back to the ASPCA was miserable---they were so unhappy to be in their carrier and basically cried the whole way. Luckily (?) my cab driver was listening to a Spanish-language marriage counseling radio program, so he didn't notice.

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When we got to the ASPCA, they were still shy of the 2lb mark, so they got placed back in the foster pool. I'm torn---while I don't want them to spend a single night in an ASPCA cage, I also selfishly hope they're waiting for me on Tuesday, when the ASPCA reopens, so I can scoop them up and taken them back home.  Only time will tell!  

Ask and Ye Shall Receive: New Kittens!

I have wanted ginger kittens forever, and today my wish came true! These two cuties came with the GOOFIEST names: Bayliner (boy) and Sun Seeker (girl). Obviously I didn't name them.

I would make more fun of their names, but they have too sad of a story--their mom got hit by a car and another foster took their three other siblings. :( They've only got each other in the world (and me and my roomie).

Clocking in at a paltry one pound each, they are skin and bones (and luxuriously long, ginger hair). They've got a tough job to do over the next two weeks: double their weight so they can get adopted.

Until then, they'll be hanging out in my bathroom, being afraid of every sound. That will pass soon.

New, Post-Vacation Kittens: Valentino, Valentin, and Valencia!

Fact: kittens are the best way to cure end-of-vacation blues. I picked up these guys from the ASPCA on Friday, and they might be my cutest kittens yet. 

I have a very unscientific hypothesis that male kittens are way more affectionate than lady kittens. I've got two boys in this batch, and all they want to do is curl up next to my computer and occasionally nibble on my computer charger. (That part is not so great.)

Caught in the act. Bad kitten!

Caught in the act. Bad kitten!

Eyeing the charger. No means no, kitten!  

Eyeing the charger. No means no, kitten!  

This is the fat one's grumpy kitten face after being denied the cord. 

This is the fat one's grumpy kitten face after being denied the cord. 

These kittens all came with names, but I find it's easier to refer to them by their physical features. That means that Valentino = the fat kitten, Valentin = the brown kitten (also known as no socks kitten), and Valencia = the scardey kitten. 

More kitten nibbling.

More kitten nibbling.

My job is to introduce them to normal household noise, so today, that meant a Mariah Carey marathon, as loud as possible. They hid under the couch for the first few songs, maybe because they were scared (but I like to think that they needed to experience her in private).

Tomorrow's challenge will be getting them to fall asleep in my lap. I think they're ready!