Friday, March 31, 2006

Actual Conversation With My Mother

Janine to Mom while walking through flea market in Florida: "Wow. I've gotten more looks from men today than I have in months."

Mom: "Do they say hello to you?"

Janine: "Yes. They look me up and down and say hi. And I think, nice to meet you, Grandpa."

Mom: "You know, the old men really like junk in the trunk."

Turning 35

Thirty-five years ago today, I was born in a hospital in Rochester, NY. I was two weeks late, so my mother had me by Caesarian section. According to my father, I was 9 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long.

Sometimes I'm still amazed I can remember things I did 10, 15, 20 years ago. I had my first crush at age 8, on a tour guide named Pino; I can still remember the sweat of his palm on my hand as he walked me across a crowded cathedral in Italy. I remember the thrill of my first kiss, at age 15, while sitting in a cul-de-sac with an older boy who convinced me he saw a shooting star in the night sky. I remember my parents leaving me at Haverford at age 18, and the strange mix of terror, anger and sadness I felt as they drove away. I remember sitting on the green-and-white sofa in my first apartment in DC, which I shared with Erika (and Nick, most of the time), and feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities before me. I remember, when I got first apartment on my own, at age 23, I couldn't wait to to buy and arrange furniture just the way I wanted. And I remember how, a few months later, I went to the shelter and brought home my very first kitty, my sweet Lancelot.

When I was a little girl, I always imagined I'd be married by now, living in a house with my husband and children. I never remember thinking about building my career, or struggling to pay off debt, or needing to find "work-life balance" so I could find time to exercise or travel or read. It's funny how life gets in the way of our dreams.

So far, my life hasn't turned out the way I hoped it would. On the other hand, I've done things I never imagined I could. I drove thousands of miles across the country. I put myself through grad school. I came to Philadelphia and started over. I fell in love and walked away, which wasn't easy, even if it was right. Through enduring friendships I've loved a lot of people. I found a job that allows me to give a little something back to the world. I started this blog.

So even though I'm feeling a little ambivalent about my birthday, I am looking forward to the next stage of my life. I'd like it to be a great adventure involving love of various sorts, travel to distant lands and maybe a little more of that elusive work-life balance. And another cat. And maybe a nice big dog, too.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Advice on Crazy Kitties

After yesterday's craziness with Nanuq, I decided to ask for help, and support, from the experts. Gwen Bohenkamp runs a terrific website on dog and cat training, as well as a blog called Puppy & Dog Training Tips, with a special section on cats. I love the way Gwen provides honest, thoughtful answers that address both the needs of our forever friends and the needs of our own psyches. Here's what she advised:

Hi, Gwen,
Thanks for your site. It's so helpful. I'm wondering if you can give me some advice about my cat. Nanuq is about a year old, and I adopted him from an animal shelter about two months ago. He is white and, I'm pretty sure, completely deaf. Before he came to live with me, he lived with another cat in a house. Their owners abandoned them in the house when they moved.

Nanuq is incredibly destructive. He wails every time I leave the house or close the door to go to the bathroom, and I almost always return to at least one broken object. When I get home from work, I play with him for hours, but he still stays up all night and plays. He scratches everything in sight, even though I've tried the spray bottle. I don't think he likes the bottle, but he's pretty stubborn and won't stop misbehaving even after he's drenched with water. I've tried smearing catnip over his two scratching posts, but he shows little interest.

Do you have advice on (1) what other ways I can show a deaf cat that I don't like his behavior and (2) any methods I can use to calm him down during the night? By the way, I'm hoping to move to a large place in a few months and get a second cat; I'm thinking Nanuq might be happier if he had a friend. Thanks!Janine

Gwen Bohnenkamp said...
Hi Janine, thank you for your kind words about my website. They are very much appreciated. Since Nanuq lived with another cat before, maybe he does need a companion. He's still very young and needs lots of stimulation, play and outlets for his energy. It sounds like you're giving him as much as you can and perhaps only another playful companion will satisfy him. He may be very lonely for a companion of his own species, even tho you provide him with all the love, attention and affection you can.

He's still a young male cat and you are a human. Try to reverse the roles and you may understand. When you get him a companion, make sure it's one who is really compatible with him or you'll have 2 pouting cats to deal with!!! If there's any way to keep him awake during the day it will help with curbing his nocturnal activities. It's normal for cats to be nocturnal and it takes some effort to change their natural sleep/wake pattern. Some cats adapt well, and others don't.The fact that the prior owners abandoned him also speaks for itself. They obviously did not love him and care for him or he would never have been left behind. I'm sure this contributes to his behavior as well - especially the wailing when he thinks he's being left. It will take a while before he trusts anyone and feels completely secure so you're both having to practice patience. The difference is that you understand intellectually and he only has experience and emotion to go on so he's at a major disadvantage. He really needs your loving support but at the same time you have to maintain your own sanity and life. This is probably why he resists the spray bottle. Even tho he may hate it, it's better than being left alone.

Instead of trying to reprimand him for his obnoxious behavior, it might be better to flood him with affection to the point that he rejects it. I know that sounds contrary, but it often works. You might even try some herbal or homeopathic remedies like Bach Flower Rescue Remedy to see if that helps. It may or it may not, but it won't hurt and it's not expensive. Keep in touch and let us know how it's going. Maybe some other readers will have some suggestions. And if you find something that works, please share it with us. thank you.

I also called on another guru, my friend Erika. She has two cats, Scout and Hazie, that she and her husband, Nick, have reared since kittenhood.

J: Nanuq is still a kitten learning his new environments - he will calm down and learn how to manuever his surroundings. Scout had a spree of breakage and then by 1 1/2 she was an expert jumper. Nanuq is a doll baby. He's probably also getting used to being alone as well as he was with other cats before both at his first home and in the shelter. And I think his not being able to hear crashes pribably makes them less scary to him. You are not insane. Also I will check on Nanuq at lunch today and Nick and I will visit him for dinner tomorrow. I will clean as much carnage as I can and maybe try and hide things he can destroy. Don't worry J - everything will be ok - The first couple of months with a new one is an adjustment.

Many thanks to both Erika and Gwen for cheering me up with more options! By the way, I did not hear from Peter today. Could that mean Nanuq behaved himself? Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

I got a message this afternoon from Peter, my new cat sitter at PhilaPets. I could be mistaken, but I believe his voice trembled as he described what he'd seen in my home. My little angel cat Nanuq had broken "at least one plate and one glass," he guessed, and newspapers and magazines were strewn everywhere. Peter's professional assessment: "He really did a number on the place."

I was a little suprised by the news. Earlier this week, I moved most of my glasses and mugs into my one kitchen cabinet. I figured the plates would be safe, since they're made of heavy pottery. I obviously underestimated the power of a lonely eight-pound cat.

Things have calmed down considerably since I put away my breakables and gave up on keeping Nanuq off the kitchen table during non-meal times. Nanuq's biggest recent adventure had been a short swim in the toilet. I turned my back for three seconds and heard a splash. Out came Nanuq, happy as could be.

My father went on one of his anti-cat rampages upon hearing of Nanuq's most recent antics. So without even meeting Nanuq, he now seems to dislike my second cat as much as my first. Maybe I'm too patient, but I think Nanuq is just being a kitten. I should have known better than to test his coordination skills by putting fine china on the highest shelves in my apartment. I hope (and pray) he will calm down as he begins to feel more secure in his surroundings.

Things Nanuq and I Have in Common

  • I was born in March, and Nanuq was born in March.
  • I enjoy eating at the kitchen table. Nanuq enjoys trying to eat my food from the kitchen table.
  • I like petting the neighbors' dogs. Nanuq likes looking at the neighbors' dogs out the window.
  • I like chasing Nanuq around the apartment. Nanuq likes chasing dust bunnies around the apartment.
  • I like drinking a tall, cool glass of water. Nanuq likes trying to drink from my tall, cool glass of water.
  • I like sleeping. Hmmm. Actually, we don't have that in common.
  • I am clumsy and often trip over Nanuq's toys. Nanuq is clumsy and often breaks my toys.
  • I like reading the newspaper. Nanuq likes sitting on the newspaper I'm reading.
  • I like having someone around to cater to my every need. Nanuq likes that I cater to his every need.
  • I am curious and read as many periodicals as possible. Nanuq is curious and destroys as many periodicals as possible.
  • I like a nice hot shower. Nanuq likes standing on the shower edge and wetting his head during my nice hot showers.
  • I like kisses. Nanuq likes my kisses.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dispatches From the Villages

About two years ago, my parents decided to move to north-central Florida for half the year. Dad loved the beautiful weather, inexpensive housing and lovingly tended golf courses. Mom initially was doubtful; she prefers living near the ocean. But eventually she came around, and now she, my dad and Niki the dog have a lovely home here in The Villages, dubbed "America's Hometown" by the marketing wizards. Indeed, it looks a lot like "America's Hometown"-- if everyone in your hometown is white, over age 55 and uses a golf cart for transportation.

It took me a while to get used to the idea that my parents were old enough to live in an adult community. (Actually, I prefer the term "retirement community" since it sounds a bit less nefarious.) But I accepted it. And because my parents spend a good seven months here every year, I now do what once seemed impossible: travel to Florida on a regular basis.

As a result, I am re-examining my misconceptions about the state. I have learned, for example, that Florida is not devoid of all natural beauty. The Mexicans brought here to build the Villages used the expertise they learned in their birth country to construct a large lake in one of the "town centers," Fort Sumpter. On one of the shorelines, they even sunk a worn old boat to suggest a shipwreck. It's so authentic I almost thought I was back in Rockport!

As far as culture, the town centers in the Villages provide piped-in music all day long. At about 6:00 p.m. every night, a rock band plays. The last time I visited, the band--whose members were about the same age as the Rolling Stones--entertained the crowd with covers of Who and Queen songs. A couple in their 70s, dressed in red from head to toe, swayed to the music as happy couples strolled along the square.

For the less active, the Villages provide a bevy of shopping opportunities at chain stores like Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and the Gap. The Villages also offer a variety of social clubs, everything from water aerobics to bridge to international film night. There's something for everyone, even for the four other Democrats, besides my parents, who live in town.

One of the highlights of life in the Villages are the town buffalo, who roam freely behind fences near the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. The Villages run their own elementary schools for the children of people who work here, and residents manage a radio station and newspaper. The newspaper is at least as good, and as objective, as any run by PNI.

My parents are happy here, and they have made many friends. My father's new real estate business is booming. So despite my sarcasm, I am happy they've found a little piece of the "American dream" here in Florida. It's just that I find this American dream a little bit scary.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dumping eHarmony

After six long and uneventful months, I've made the heart-wrenching decision to dump eHarmony.

Sorry, babe. It's not about you. It's the Compatibility Matching System.

When I joined last September, I dutifully filled out the 500-question survey, which told me I'm a good friend who likes to be supportive of others, but that some find me undemonstrative and self- controlled. "Because of my lenient and complacent nature," people sometimes take advantage of me. My desire for safety around the house suggested I'd want fire detectors and a security system. I love "peace and harmony," it said.

All true, to a certain extent. But what I want most is a decent boyfriend.

In six months, I went on two dates. Two! The men were pleasant, and I was compatible enough with one of them. Unfortunately, I got the old "I'll call you" line and never heard from him again.

I also corresponded with dozens of men. Unfortunately, eHarmony gives you four or more opportunities to back out. In most cases, you must ask and answer many questions before even communicating with someone. Sometimes that deliberateness was useful; often, it just gives men more excuses to exclude someone who might be a good match.

So last week I dumped eHarmony and called my dependable backup, and I have always had a harmonious relationship. Match helped me meet my last boyfriend, whom I dated for three years. Before him, I made several other friends through

But is also letting me down. A few days I ago it matched me with a 25-year-old African-American man who wrote, "I like a mature woman and I love the black-on-white thing." Wow, how romantic. I had a backup, though, a 29-year-old who wrote that he loved his dog. But when I called him, he kept me on the line for five minutes while he had an animated exchange with his sister. After explaining that he lived with his parents and the dog actually belonged to them, he asked if he could call me back. "My credit card company's on the phone," he said flatly. "I'm trying to get them to extend my credit so I can buy a laptop." As my friend Amy observed, I hit the jackpot: a guy living at home, who uses a pet to get dates and who has bad credit.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And Something Funny...

One night last week I arrived home to the usual chaos. Nanuq had gotten into the trash can, pushed over the room divider and knocked over my cooking spices, which I keep neatly arranged in little glass jars. Everything was reparable except for the ground cloves. From what I could surmise, Nanuq had spilled the contents of the jar and then rolled around in it like a dog in a pile of fresh autumn leaves.

After cleaning up the mess, I started to worry. Could cloves be toxic? I couldn't tell for sure whether Nanuq had eaten any, so I investigated. Fortunately, I learned from my friend Erika that ground cloves aren't poisonous, but cats should not be given clove essential oils. (Apparently enough cats have eaten cloves that literature exists on the subject.)

Several hours later, while watching "American Idol"--let's see, was it Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday?--my apartment started to smell like pumpkin pie. I couldn't figure it out, so I followed my nose. Straight to the litter box. For the next several days I enjoyed a whiff of Thanksgiving, thanks to my little Devil cat. I'm thinking of getting a patent on clove treats. It's an improvement over the alternative.

Something Scary

In my efforts to diversify this blog, I'm posting this column from Bruce Schimmel, a terrific journalist at the Philadelphia City Paper. We're fortunate in Philly to have TWO wonderful independent weeklies. If this story doesn't scare you, I don't know what will:

What's in Your File?
By Bruce Schimmel

A quiet crowd of 50 gathered recently in front of the courthouse in Media to protest domestic spying, and I found myself wondering which of these folks were working secretly for the FBI. Maybe the snitch was the middle-aged woman holding the sign that read, "Bush: Don't spy on me." Or the tall, young Asian couple in long dark coats. Hell, maybe the spook was the wizened, white-haired lady yammering about Eleanor Roosevelt from her wheelchair.

Paranoia makes for strange notions. But sometimes fear is the only reasonable response. Especially after hearing what an ACLU spokesperson was telling this crowd as they shivered in the dusk. The FBI is now actively spying on people just like them; the feds are targeting peace activists. The FBI may say that it's on the hunt for terrorists. But here they're pursuing the least likely people to ever pick up a gun.

This week, the ACLU is releasing FBI documents ( they say confirm that the agency is investigating the Pittsburgh-based Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Justice. The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), strongly suggest that this pacifist group has also been infiltrated by an FBI mole. The ACLU says this is the first time that peaceful political activities are being targeted by the FBI solely because they express an anti-war sentiment.

Actually, it's not the first time. Thirty-five years ago, at the height of Vietnam, local activists snuck into federal offices in Media and purloined cartons of papers (available at that showed how the FBI was infiltrating groups opposed to the war. It was clear evidence that the agency was not being used to protect Americans, but to repress political speech.

In 1971, this revelation caused a major furor, and set off a chain of events that arguably led in 1974 to Richard Nixon's ouster for spying on his political opponents. And if you're hoping, like me, that history will repeat itself, consider this even more terrifying irony: In 1978, an outraged Congress passed legislation that specifically prohibited the president from spying on American citizens without first obtaining a warrant from a special court. This is the very law that George W. Bush continues to defy today, saying he can ignore the law because we're at war.

So how can you stop the feds from peeking at your e-mail and tapping your phones? How can you help George find another job?

File a FOIA on yourself. You've likely checked your credit report. You've probably Googled your name. So why not exercise your right to find out what the federal government has got on you? If you're an environmentalist, an animal rights activist or a social justice organizer, if you write letters to editors or are just in the habit of speaking out, you should file a FOIA. Not just to find out if you've been spied on or not, but to assert your right to do so.

You can do it; the ACLU will help you, free. (Visit their "File a FOIA" workshop on Wed., March 22, 6:30 p.m., at the American Friends Service Committee at 15th and Cherry streets.) Civil rights, like muscles, need to be used regularly. And in the fight against a government that's terrorizing its own, exercising civil rights is the best weapon we have.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Devil Cat Rises Again

If you're wondering why I've disappeared, it's because I've been exhausted.

The ink had barely dried on my last blog entry (can I use that expression on the Web?) when Nanuq began having what I've dubbed the "night terrors." Life is hard for him, just like it is for Sad Kitty. If I'm lucky, the terrors start at 5 a.m. If I'm unlucky, they begin at 3:30 a.m.

Nanuq taught himself to fly through the air and land on my room divider. One night I awoke at 4:30 a.m. to see him hanging onto it for dear life. Other evenings he barrels into it, knocking it into my CD tower and to the ground. On Monday night he woke me three times until finally I gave up and got up. At least I got to work at 7:30 am, making for a productive day.

I blamed myself for Monday. After a busy work day, I hadn't taken the time to exercise him properly. But yesterday we played for three straight hours. I figured I'd worn him out. No such luck. I moved the CD tower, which at least stopped the tremendous crashes from when he'd knock it over. Instead, he decided to knock over his litter box and destroy a lampshade made of delicate paper. Ah, Ikea. I hardly knew ye.

Since I can't calm him down, I'm considering drugs. For myself, that is.

Friday, March 10, 2006

You're so Vain, You Prob'ly Think This Blog Is About You

I've noticed lately that Nanuq enjoys his reflection. I can't tell whether it's because he knows he's pretty or because he thinks he sees another cat. Either way, he can't help but look at himself when he walks past a mirror or the glass case that now holds all my breakables.

This morning I went for a walk. When I returned I found Nanuq in the window. At first he was happy to see me. Then he was happier to stare at his reflection.

Yesterday marked Day 2 without incident. It seems too good to be true. My only difficulty is teaching Nanuq to scratch his post rather than the walls.

I'm considering shifting this blog to other topics to avoid becoming the crazy single woman who loves cats. Lancelot would encourage me, I'm sure. Unlike Nanuq, he enjoyed solitude and encouraged my free-thinking ways by ignoring me much of the time. Smart kitty.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Miracles Can Happen

Yesterday I stayed very late for a board meeting. I feared what I would find after more than 12 hours away from the house. Bad me, I thought the worst of the little guy.

Not only did Nanuq greet me at the door, but he hadn't touched a thing. The curtains were in place. The newspapers on my coffee table remained in a huge pile. Even his food and water remained in his dish. He had knocked over only one thing: a photograph of Lancelot. Every day I find that photo knocked over. I wonder if he's trying to tell me something.

I swept Nanuq up in my arms and gave him hugs and kisses. I told him he was a very good boy, for possibly the first time ever. I went to bed happy.

Only to be awoken at 4:30 by a crash.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Who Says Cats Are Independent?

Nanuq and I have been living together for almost three weeks now, and I'm starting to learn his cute (and not so cute) habits. This morning I went for a walk. When I returned he had torn down the curtains. At least he was sitting in the window to greet me.

I'm close to giving up on my rule of "no cats in the bathroom." Since I live in a one-bedroom apartment, I figured the bathroom was the closest thing to privacy I could get. Nanuq will have none of it. When I got into the shower, he knocked over his litter box. He meowed and scratched on the door, even though I kept opening it to reassure him.

Nanuq is one of the clumsiest cats I've ever seen. He makes Lancelot look like a ballet dancer. Nanuq loves having his stomach rubbed, and he'll roll onto his back whenever he gets the chance (the whore!), even if he's at the edge of the bed, on a narrow ledge or at the top of a bookcase. Unlike other cats, he seems to have no shame. When he falls, he doesn't jump up and walk in the opposite direction like Lancie did, as if to say, "What silly animal did that? I'm too perfect for such clumsiness." Instead, he walks right on over and rubs against me, like falling on his ass was the most natural thing in the world for any cat to do.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Notes: A Week in the Life of Nanuq

Thursday 2/23, 8:00 am. I leave for trip to Denver. Nanuq asleep in ball on bed. Has not eaten or pooped since arrived at home; shows no interest in toys. Give him disgusting medication and say my prayers. Hoping I'll return to see some life in the little guy.

Thursday 2/23, 10:00 am. Cat sitter Alexis from PhilaPets visits. She writes: Nanuq is a good name. He was very cute sleeping when I came in. I checked the litter box, but there wasn't anything in it yet.

Thursday 2/23, 2:00 pm. Erika visits. She writes: Nanuq was inquisitive. Seemed interested in food but wouldn't eat. He's a sweetie.

Friday 2/24, 11:00 am. Alexis: Nanuq finally ate some food that I put out--wet only. I sifted through the litter box, but since he hasn't eaten much, there wasn't anything in it.

Friday 2/24, 1:15 pm. Erika: 2nd wet food was gone and drape was down with Nanuq asleep on it--little fiend. Played with mouse when woke up. Loves tummy rubs. Ate some dry food.

Saturday 2/25, 2:00 pm. Erika and Nick: We cleaned litter of poo. All dry and wet food gone. Curtains were down. Divider was down. Amplifiers were down. Put back some stuff. Since feeling better, getting rambunctious, he is.

Saturday 2/25, 3:00 pm. Alexis: I came in as Erika and Nick were leaving. I put some more food out, since he's obviously hungry. I will be back tomorrow and hopefully your belongings will not be knocked over.

Sunday 2/26, 2:30 pm. Alexis: Nanuq was sleeping when I arrived but awoke with an appetite. All of his food bowls and water bowl were empty. He is being very vocal and affectionate. He did unfortunately knock over his litter box. Otherwise the apartment looked in order.

Sunday 2/26, 11:15 pm. I ask Amy to go into the apartment with me because I'm afraid I'll find a dead cat. Walk in and can't figure out what's different. Suddenly realize no curtains on windows. Amy looks at food bowl and says, "Look! He ate!" Stare in stunned silence as I take in full view of apartment. "I can't believe this is the same cat I met on Thursday!" Amy says.

Monday 2/27. Spend day at home recuperating. Nanuq and I play with catnip mice and feather toy. Leave apartment to pick up mail. Hear him meowing all the way down the alleyway. Efforts to eat cereal without cat in face unsuccessful. Vacuum, dust and put pictures back in place. Yell "no" all 50 times Nanuq jumps on kitchen table. Attempt to teach him value of scratching post over apartment walls.

Tuesday 2/28, 7:30 am. Back to work. Give Nanuq medicine. Kiss Lancelot's ashes and give Nanuq kiss goodbye. Feel deep pangs of guilt as I walk down alleyway and hear cat wailing pathetically. Reconsider idea of having children.

Tuesday 2/28, 6:30 pm. Open apartment door and immediately see curtains down, amplifiers down. Find two broken cereal bowls and a damaged wooden figurine from Thailand that belonged to my grandparents. Lancelot's picture and collar on floor. Room divider knocked over and scratched to bits. Nanuq sitting calmly in window. Imagine Lancelot looking down on me and thinking, "And you thought I was bad!"

Tuesday 2/28, 6:45 pm. Call Amy to tell her what happened. Before she says hello, she hears me whispering to Nanuq, "Come here, you devil cat."

Tuesday 2/28, 7:30 pm. Move all breakables into boxes or single display case with glass. Replace with stuffed animals. Remind self am not so superficial that I am tied to objects. Above all that. Love living things. Rub Nanuq's tummy and play with catnip mouse. Replace curtain.

Tuesday 2/28, 8:00 pm. Hear loud smash. Decide pictures were made for walls, not shelving. Spend next hour with hammer and nail.

Tuesday 2/28, 1:30 am. Hear crash. Nanuq knocked over end table with keys on it. Go back to bed.

Tuesday 2/28, 5:00 am. Hear dishes falling. Nanuq attempting to drink water from kitchen sink. Yell no, pick him up and go back to bed.

Wednesday 3/1, 7:30 am. Give Nanuq medicine and kiss goodbye. Open front curtain in hopes he'll look out window instead of taking curtain down. Notice light out in refrigerator; make mental note to get new bulb. Say prayer.

Wednesday 3/1, 6:30 pm. Enter apartment to see curtain in place. Success! Then notice back curtain pulled down and Lancelot's collar thrown upon it. Cable box down. Newspapers strewn everywhere. Take deep breath and leave apartment to get more cat toys and bulb for fridge.

Wednesday 3/1, 7:00 pm. Buy dreaded water bottle. Am evil disciplinarian spoiling cat's fun.

Wednesday 3/1, 7:30 pm. Replace light bulb in fridge, but nothing happens. Have funny feeling. Pull fridge away from wall. Discover Nanuq knocked over cutting board on top of fridge, forcing cord out of wall. Plug in fridge and throw out spoiled food. Find dried lavender shred to bits. Never liked dried flowers anyway.

Wednesday 3/1, 9:30 pm. Spray cat several times as he attempts to scratch wall, room divider, rug.

Wednesday 3/1 10:00 pm. Nanuq scratches post for first time. Praise him like king.

Wednesday 3/1 11:30 pm. Cold night, get in bed. Nanuq crawls in after me. Climbs on stomach and curls into ball. Rolls on back for tummy rub. Purrs. All is forgiven.