Monday, September 28, 2009

High Mileage Cars, High Mileage Cats

We now return to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - heeeeeeere's your hostess, Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

Until Labor Day, I had two major, in-person fixtures in my everyday life that tied me to my Texas roots and have shared multiple phases of my life with me: Rum Tum Tugger, my 13-year-old orange tabby, and my well-loved, fire engine red, 1997 Nissan 200SX. Now, I'm down to just Rum Tum - and, old buddy, you'd better stick with me for a long, long, time to come!

A few weeks ago, my adorable, sleek, girlie-girl-foxy-Texas-woman's-Sun Belt type-of-car that I got brand-new after college graduation - a car I called my Little Red Skittle - had a breakdown that turned out to be fatal. While I have no attachment to metal, rubber and upholstery, per se, I tend to get very attached to things like cars, apartments, houses, and even grocery stores. They are a part of my routine - and, therefore, they are a part of me. And I don't let go easily.

Parts of my everyday life, even the inanimate ones, become a comfort to me. I have sat in every apartment I have left, crying and reminiscing before, finally, I walk away and close that door one last time - usually, after re-opening the doors several times for one more peek. Some of my friends think it's silly - and, in a way, it is - but I know many people nonetheless can relate to such impractical sentimentality.

My car and I spent 193,000 glorious miles together through multiple life phases and cross-country moves. I drove it for numerous road trips under the blazing Texas sun, punctuated by a year in Illinois for graduate school. I remember, after I arrived up north and winter rolled in, I beheld about the darndest thing my Southwestern driver's eyes had ever seen: my Little Red Skittle, covered with a half foot of snow!

And then, a few years later, I and my mechanical bud - with Rum Tum and Buster, my late gray and black tabby, packed up cozily in the back seat - embarked on the biggest and longest-lasting adventure so far: my move up to Pittsburgh from Dallas. And Skittle has been with me ever since: in fact, as of the week of Halloween, I will have been here seven years. Yes, seven.

Now, wouldn't you know it, the Good Lord knew what was coming, and already had the perfect replacement car lined up for me. Guess what I bought a week ago? Another Little Red Skittle! Yep, it's my old car's kissing cousin, only a year newer, 60,000 fewer miles, and an upgraded SE model with more options and a fancier interior. Can you dig it?

I love my 1998 Nissan 200SX-SE. It feels like home. And so does Rum Tum, who remains the only living part of my past that is with me every day.

Oh, will I grieve hard when it's time for him to go, but - God? - may that be a long, long ways away. He gets frequent oil changes - er, vet visits - and top-notch, 93-octane gas - er, nutritious food.

Now, this reminds me: although I want to see all my kittens get homes, if you're looking for a feline, please remember that high-mileage cats like Rum Tum still run great. And the adults, especially older ones, are the kitties who need homes the most. This weekend, Animal Friends had an "Oldies but Goodies" event, where we promoted our older animals while '50s music played in the background. It was a precious idea.

Everyone seems to want a kitten, but please don't forget to consider pre-owned cats. Often, like cars, they have very low mileage, and lost their homes at a young age because of an owner's move. Sometimes, people "trade in" their cats for a boyfriend, or even a newer model that matches the furniture better. But these cats still have many years left in them, full of love to give to a special someone. Depreciation of value is nonexistent in the pet world.

So, please visit your local animal dealer - um, shelter - today. Whether you adopt a baby or an adult, we guarantee a manufacturer's rebate of love and affection.

Until next time, this Skittle lover remains,

Mother Catresa
Patrons Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Won't You Be My Littermate - er, Friend?"

We now return to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - heeeeere's your hostess, Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

Alright, I finally did it. This technology-resistant fuddy duddy caved in to the pressure from family and friends and joined Facebook. (Hey, folks? You can lay off now.) :)

Ever since this Web site exploded during the past year, I've been resisting it, and wary of being sucked in to this phenomenon. I frankly thought it was juvenile, and really, it is. Doesn't it sound kind of junior high-ish to have a public listing saying, "Lookie here - these are my friends! So-and-so wants to be my friend! She's my friend, but not your friend! I have more friends than you - neener, neener, neener!"

And surely, Facebook redefines the word "friend." Really, how many people have hundreds or even thousands of friends? Casual acquaintances, maybe, but friends? Get real. I've also noted how Facebook seems to be a colossal time sucker.

"It's addicting," friends tell me. "I can spend hours on it."

Oh, no, I think. I've had real addictions, the deadly kind. So maybe Facebook won't knock off my brain cells, but still ...

Well, nonetheless, I realized that Facebook, if anything, is a great way to promote Mother Catresa's Chronicle, so I took the plunge this weekend. I hope it will make KITT-FM's fan base explode. Wouldn't you know it; I already have numerous friends. And yes, I'm spending way more time on it than I should.

So, I have a favor to ask - um, will you be my friend? Please? Pretty please? I'm kind of a loser, you know, and I need friends. C'mon, it will make your Facebook profile look more impressive if you beef up your friend list. Please send me a friend request, and approve mine if I sent you one.

Actually, I think there really is at least one other Kellie Gormly on Facebook. I'm the one with the blank picture square from Pittsburgh - unless, I have a double who joined in the past few days. Otherwise, that's me.

I plan to put a picture of a kitten up there as soon as I figure out how. Until I drop a few pounds, my public image will remain a furry one.

Meanwhile, I'm loving on Gonzo and her four babies, who are dividing their time between nursing and eating real food. Gonzo is such a good mom: she's letting these 6-week-old kittens indulge in her teats longer than they need to. But I'm sure she'll soon reach the point where she says, "Uh, uh, junior. Time to cut it."

Until next time, I remain,

Mother Catresa
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")