Sunday, December 26, 2010

"We're going to muzzle her"

Famous last words.

On the Saturday, a week before Christmas.  Mel and I journeyed across the street to the kitty doctor so that her health certificate could be issued for the flight (which by the way, not a soul asked me for during our travels).

Mel, not surprisingly, is a wee bit un-normal in the sense that she generally likes her cat carrier - it's soft and cozy and dark, she can get away from humans and it feels safe to her I think.  Sometimes I wish I could crawl into one to get away from her.

So without incident, she crept into her carrier and out the door, down the stairs and into the car we went.

The cat hospital is literally across the street so after a short hip hop and a bump over, we arrived.

I carried her in and sat her down on the floor so that she could see my feet.  She was utterly silent, which caused me to say to the receptionist - "You know, she's being so quiet that I'm actually concerned."

I filled out the forms and we sat on the bench with homemade bench cushions in cartoon kitty print.  It didn't take long for the growling and hissing to begin.

I looked into her carrier and saw her glaring at the wall.  I looked to my right and saw the reason.

There were three hand-painted, very realistic kitties on the wall and Mel had taken an instant dislike to the 2D felines which were clearly a threat to her territory.

We were the only ones in the waiting area (praise be) and so I let her do her thing.  Her carrier began violently moving as the tech came in and cheerily said, "Well hhhelllllooooooo!!! Is this Miss Melody?"

We carried the cat in the bag back to the exam room.  As the bag bounced up and down and rolled on the table, nearly falling off, the tech took down basic information.

The bag was now spitting and he looked at me, I smiled pleasantly like a mother with a child who won't stop screaming in the middle of a store.
"So, how does this normally go then?"
"Well, she's only been to the vet once since I've had her and this is the normal."
"Is she better with a towel?  You holding her?"
I pointed out my big bulky sweater and let him know that it was no accident that I had worn it.
"I'll hold her," I volunteered.
He tried to flick the top zipper open and nearly lost a finger, sputtered a bit, and said he would go get the doc and be back.

Meanwhile, while waiting for the vet and the tech to come back, Mel decided she was going to take on the world and leapt out of the carrier onto the exam counter and into my arms.

With her head buried in my arm she continued hissing, spitting, growling and making a general fool of herself.

Shortly after, the doc came in the room along with the tech.
"HIIIII kitty,"  she cheerily said, "Merry Christmas!!"
Hiss.  Spit.  Growl.  Spit.
"Oookay.  Happy Kwanzaa then!"  I liked this veterinarian.  Alot.

^ what Mel looked like.

After 20 minutes of getting absolutely no where with this and a scene much like this one, with Mel reigning victorious, the tech left the room.

By now Mel had crawled under the chair where she was still sounding like a dying, sputtering car with all the spitting she was doing.

The tech reemerged from the back...

"Do you think you can get her out of there? Or do you want one of us to do it?"
I chuckled, "I'm used to this abuse.  This is her normal.  Really, it's okay.  It's an abusive relationship to the truest extent."

I reached down and pulled her out by the scruff.  "Look at momma go!!" said the vet.

Mel sounded something like this:

(I just played this over 30 times to get her back for Saturday - she is now a hot mess trying to figure out where the heck the other cat in the room is).  = )

Anyway, as soon as she was on the counter, they threw a towel over her and after about 15 seconds of realizing that wasn't going to work, the tech pulled out a muzzle and said, "we're going to muzzle her."

A piece of me died.

Muzzle.  A dreaded word to any pet owner.  Especially a CAT owner.

My little baby...sniff (cue violin music) little baby girl was going to have to have a muzzle.  But muzzles were for dogs and other vicious creatures.

They put the muzzle over her head.  She looked like this:

My little darling was now akin to Hannibal Lecter.  Sigh.

I must have had a thoroughly defeated look on my face because at this point the vet told me not to feel bad - this happens all the time.

At this point I asked about sedatives.  And I learned that cats have a fight or flight instinct that is so strong that the sedatives can often have the opposite affect.  Was I willing to risk that?  Absolutely not.  The vet recommended throwing a towel over her carrier and including a favorite toy that smelled like home.  Mel generally seems to think my appendages are her toys and I wasn't about to include a finger or a toe in her carrier, so I bought her an extra strong catnip toy hoping I could legally drug her.

We made it through the exam with the vet doing the best she could.

"She seems to be in great health.  The look I got at her teeth when she hissed in my face seems like she's in good shape there too."

Back out in the waiting room we were the spectacle.

"Oh my!" said an innocent bystander, "your cat is not very happy."

I love during tense moments when strangers state the obvious to you about something which you can do nothing about.  IE- Your cat is not happy, your child is crying, your dog just pooped on my lawn, etc.  Yes, thank you very much.  I'm well aware.  I have little to no control over the situation.  I am doing the best I can. You can have my cat/child/dog.

"Yes, she's a real peach," I replied.  Peach was close to the other five letter word that ended in ch.

The bag spit and hissed at this point  and the woman took a step in the opposite direction.  I smiled on the inside.  Even when I think she's not on my side, she comes through for me.

We paid and left - glorified with a health certificate and the super strong scented special cat nip toy.  "I hope she doesn't think I'm rewarding her horrific behavior," I said to the receptionist as she handed over the drugged pillow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friends, it has been awhile.

I think it is the prospect of the amazing blog entry that I'm going to get while traveling with Mel over the holidays that has kept my creativity at bay.  The mere thought of the adventure this will be (that I'm already regretting) is phenomenal.

Other than Mel trying to set my house on fire by knocking over a lit candle on top of a bookcase, the antics have been about normal.  Luckily my belongings are not burned, simply covered with gooey "Evergreen" wax.  As is my carpet.  I might replace that section of carpet with her hide.

Even decorating for Christmas has gone (mostly) without incident - besides some chewing on the tree branches.  She was very "helpful" and loudly expressed her opinions for decorations as they came out of the box.

Here she is in her Christmas tutu:

And here in her Christmas sweater:

But yes, my excitement is in the blog entry I will get to write after traveling through security with her for Christmas.  

You see, with all the TSA controversy, I began wondering how I was going to get my cat through security and onto the plane.  No way I would put her through the xray machine.  So I visited TSA's website which instructed me that they don't put pets through the xray machine, and that I could carry my pet through the metal detector.  uhh... without anything as a restraint?  Nooooo thanks.  
I can see the conversation now: 
"Excuse me ma'am, could you please remove your cat from her carrier and hold her as you walk through the metal detector." 
"No sir, YOU can remove her from the carrier and hold her as I walk through the metal detector..."

So I continued to read about my "options."

From the TSA website: 
"If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection by our Security Officers."

A physical inspection of my cat?  

Dear TSA - Is that simultaneous with your physical pat down of myself?  How kinky can we be here?  Of course numerous extremely inappropriate jokes have run through my mind, none of which I should probably put on here. 

But really I can see this happening -  

"Excuse me officer- if you touch my cat's junk, she'll have you shredded." 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm really at a loss...

Lately, Mel has developed a new routine.  One in which she likes to "sleep" under the covers with me.  (By "sleep" I mean that I don't really fall asleep under these circumstances - it involves me staying awake to try not to disturb - i.e. lose an arm or other appendage - the cat).
I'm not really a fan of being tickled by whiskers in places that whiskers shouldn't be.  
I'm less of a fan of getting prodded by a cold nose under my warm covers.  
And most of the time I feel like there is a shark under the covers with me.  
But it is the ultimate form of approval and love that Mel wants my attention and she wants to cuddle!!  And how can I possibly say no!?  And how often does Mel want to cuddle - never.  So I just can't resist when she shows affection.  
When I sleep, I cocoon myself with the blankets, so Mel jumps up and nudges all around my face with her cold nose and whiskers trying to find a way under the sheets.  Yes, much like a dog.
Finally I give in and lift up the covers so that she can crawl under.  Generally she will either curl up next to me spoon style (yes my cat and I spoon when she doesn't have a headache) or she will lay with her paws towards me at the same "level" against me, and proceed to knead.  Whatever is there.  Ahem.  
It's quite awkward.  
I admit that I am attention starved to receive such approval and loving gestures from my cat.  They don't come that often.  
But....I wish that she would find a place to knead that isn't limits?  It's certainly the most action I've seen in a while. Yikes. 
Sometimes I reach over and scoot her up the bed a little bit but that ends with my face being mercilessly kneaded.  She's not a gentle little thing.  It feels like she is punching my face.  At least there's some padding in other places...?
Not really.  
You know those people that stand waiting for the elevator and keep jabbing their finger into the call button as if it is going to make the elevator get there faster?  And as more and more time goes by, they hit the button harder and more violently?  That is what Mel feels like during this routine.  It's not cool.  Thank God she doesn't have claws.  That would be the equivalent of brass knuckles.
She uses me as an emotional punching bag and now as a physical punching bag.  
I'm just not sure what to do about this.  
I try to get her to stop.  I put my hand on her paws and move them away, but she just keeps going.  I've tried putting a pillow between us and she tries to nudge under the pillow.  Rolling over sometimes works in the way of I get stabbed in the back, but generally she will walk over top of me to get to my front side.  She's like a dude.  
If you've ever seen a female cat knead, you know that they can get really into it.  Our cat that we had for years, Pretty (I named her when I was 3, give me a break), used to chew on a blanket, drool all over and purr at the same time.  There was no stopping her.  She looked rabid.  Mel is just about the same way.
There are mixed theories on kneading.  Some say it's because the kitten was weaned too late.  Some say it's because the kitten was weaned too early.  Some say it's a nesting thing. 
Whatever it is, I'd love to know what she is thinking. 
Is she looking at me as her mother figure?  If so, I think we are in the teenage phase when the teenager knows everything but still needs mom and just doesn't really know it. 
It creeps me out.  I definitely think of Mel on an equal plane.  
**Correction: I wouldn't dare assume that Mel is anything other than my intellectual and emotionally developed equal.**
But when she exhibits this behavior I just see her as a vulnerable little cuddlebug who just wants to be loved. 
And that right there ladies and gentlemen, is precisely why my cat runs my household.  
                                          Mel at a bad time in her life.... after a bath.


Suitcases and Coffee Breath

Another week of shenanigans gone by.
My dad - of the "one toke over the line" fame from a previous entry was visiting again.
Well previously, long ago and far away, Mel at one time (before she had accepted him) had peed in his suitcase during a visit.
My father has never recovered.
So now when he visits, he not only places his suitcase up off the floor, but he usually closes it and then shuts it into my spare room (which does not contain a bed) just for good measure.  Just so that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY for Mel to pee in his suitcase ever again.
I've tried to explain to him that she's over it now.  That was a long time ago and they've since bonded and that shouldn't happen again unless her litter boxes are dirty, then a suitcase is the next best place.  Who can blame her?  And yes, I feel that I should notate here that my cat has two litter boxes.  She's very picky.  One is for number one and one is for number two, and don't you dare try to pull a switch on her, she's got it all figured out. I tried toilet training her at one point.  I think it's a crock of crap (no pun intended), but I may try again shortly.
Anyway, dad is totally nuts about Mel ruining his suitcase and everything in it, for good reason.
So on our way out of the house on Sunday to go to church at 10:30am, dad shuts the door to the spare room.
At 8 pm when we return from a full day of activity, Mel doesn't greet us at the door.
Nor was she sitting at the top of the stairs after sneaking out underfoot.
Nor was she locked out on the balcony.
Shrieks, growls and yowls were coming from.... the spare room.
Dad said something on the order of "crap!" and went to go open the door.  Out pops Mel, happy as ever that we were home.
Dad couldn't even bring himself to go in the room.
He came straight back out to the living room visibly upset that the cat had spent all day with another suitcase that had no doubt become a victim too.
So I went into the room.  I found, that while Mel had made a nice little bed out of his dress shirts, in fact there were no "accidents" - I'm not sure if accident is a proper word to use with Mel - everything was in order and perfectly fine except for his wrinkled and furry shirts.
Pleasant surprise.
My baby girl is growing up!! :)
Dad couldn't believe it - there was simply no way THAT cat had spent the day locked in a room with his suitcase and not ruined it.  But it happened.
Now why the change in heart?  Well one, I think Mel has matured.  Two, I think she finally realizes that this is her permanent home and she doesn't have to be a little b*tch all the time.  Three, Dad and Mel have this bonding routine.
And Dad insists on going through it everytime he visits.
Before I get into this weirdness, you must know that my father is truly an animal lover and animals love him.  Growing up I remember Dad getting chipmunks to jump in his hand, deer would come right up on our back deck in Colorado while he stood there and talked to them, there were rescued opossums, raccoons, bunnies, ducks, grackles, tarantulas, shrews, and other wildlife of every manner.  He's a special guy and animals know that.
Except Mel.
So Dad has attempted to "bond" with Mel through feeding her, playing with her, talking to her, paying attention to her, ignoring her, pestering her, etc.
The only thing that has worked is something so strange I almost hesitate to make it public knowledge, but it's also hysterical and I can't pass up an opportunity to provide a smile.
The routine consists of Dad getting down on his hands and knees to get closer to Mel's level.
When anyone gets down on Mel's level she will sit, curious, but just out of reach so that you can't grab her.
So she sits and stares at my father who proceeds to baby talk her and then.... breathes in her face.
I have no idea where this notion came from except that Mel is mouthy when she's pissed off and has a general affinity for coffee breath and mint toothpaste, and I think it started from Dad pretending to hiss back at her and being the sadist that she is, she enjoyed it and stuck her nose in his face.  SO now Dad "bonds" with the cat by breathing in her face.  She sits there and sniffs at him to check him out and tolerates him being just outside of her space, which is about as close as anyone gets.
During the course of my father's visit we had a discussion in which I said I was convinced I'm adopted.  After all, I like Halloween and my parents don't.  I like hazelnut coffee and my parents don't.  I like pumpkin bread and pumpkin pancakes and my parents don't.  Of course if you've ever met one of my parents and me at the same time, it's not like the obvious resemblance is very clear.  Well in the course of watching my dad breathe in my cats face, the thought again crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, I'm adopted.

Last night I came home from work and planted myself on my couch.  Mel has been learning to retrieve, and while the retrieving part hasn't been going so well, she will bring me her toy mouse to get things going.  So last night I threw the mouse which ended up next to the laundry room door frame.  Mel went after the mouse full throttle (we are talking flying leap off of the couch), flipped it back up in the air, still going at full speed, and somersaulted right into the door frame.  At the point of impact she was actually upside down.
I felt like I was watching a cartoon.  She sort of slid down the frame, landing on her head and rolled back end over front end back to a horizontal position.  She sort of wobbled, picked herself up and shook the stars out of her eyes and then just sat there and looked at me like - "that was your fault."
It's these vulnerable moments where I feel comfortable enough to let my cat know that I love her, and I don't feel like I'll get burned.
I scooped her up and she totally played up her injuries (I don't think she had a concussion because I think she's been in a permanent state of being concussed since I adopted her....ahem).  Once her brain function had recharged to its normal level she bit me, hissed out of no where, and jumped down onto the floor to go do whatever it is that Mel does when I'm not watching (lately I think this is organizing my purse collection in my closet - or at least laying on them and squishing them into an un-useful shape).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Pet" Peeves

The longer Mel and I live together the more, unfortunately or fortunately depending on whose side we are referring to, I think we become like the other.  For example, the downstairs neighbor drives both of us crazy.  Mel pretty much doesn't like anybody.  Well okay, I pretty much don't like anybody either.  I like lots of people, just not most of them.  This neighbor always has something to say about everyone and everything and always has plenty of complaints to heap upon this poor soul of an HOA board volunteer.  (Oh the stories - and yes one day I most certainly will write a book called "True Stories of Fake People."  My copyright is already in place, my book deal signed.)

One of Mel and I's pet peeves is being interrupted in the sleeping process, or near-to-sleeping process.

I argue that she should be less incensed since she is a cat and sleep comes absolutely naturally to her, but I digress.

Other than a violent chainsaw accident, you may never find a faster way to lose an arm or hand then to wake Mel up from a deep sleep.  If you have ever seen the Disney animated version of Aladdin, in one of the first scenes the "Cave of Wonders" awakens and the spirit of the cave has a deep booming voice which threatens to swallow whoever is in the cave if they touch any of the treasure in the cave.

I imagine Mel's voice sounding the same and threatening to swallow whoever touches her in her sleep.

Last night, Mel and I went to bed early.  By early, I mean we were grandmas and were tucked in circa 8 pm.  Well actually my grandmothers both stay up late - my Grams is regularly up past midnight.  So more like being the working girls that we are, we were tucked in by 8 pm.

Around 9:00, just as we both hit that twilight of barely reachable, so-close-you-can-taste-it sleep -
Knock Knock.  
Mel lifted her head and I looked back at her.  She put her head down and I closed my eyes.
Knock Knock Knock. 
Knock Knock-Knock Knock.
Knock Knock Knock Knock.
Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock

Dear Lord,
Please make her go away.
I know she sees my car in the parking lot.
I know she knows I'm home because she is the neighborhood gossip and spy who always knows not only when everyone is home, but when they got home, what they wore to work, what they're having for dinner and whether or not they have chewing gum on the bottom of their shoe.
Please, please have mercy upon us.
Love, Kelsey and Mel

It took 15 minutes to simmer back down from being extremely irritated that it took her 8 rounds of knocking to figure out that I wasn't going to answer the door (a previous time the count was 19 and I was in the bathroom - when I finally was able to open the door I immediately said, "HI.  I was going to the bathroom.  What can I do for you?"  I thought then that that situation had solved any future problems of not having 50 acres in the middle of no where to myself, but I was wrong.  At least the count is down to 8 which is probably "normal" in her mind).

So tomorrow morning, I may set my alarm for 4am.  I will then run back and forth through my second floor condo which is situated immediately above said neighbor.  In cowboy boots.  Doing gymnastics.  I may just then go down to my car and turn on the brights since I park right outside her bedroom.  Perhaps I will learn how to use my fancy stereo system and turn the bass up to 10000 gazillion +.  I may open my trunk and blare Snoop Dogg from my subs (yo).  But not before I lay on the horn and throw pebbles at her window to make extra sure she can hear everything that is going on - after I pound on her door 8 times on my way out to my car.  With a sledgehammer.

Needless to say, Mel and I have both been rather crotchety today.  And we are attempting to go to bed early.  Again.  In fact, I am in bed now.  It is 6:46pm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Devil Went Down to....well, downstairs.

The beasty is currently sitting on my lap imploring me to write about her antics.
To start:
1. Devil costume has been conquered.
2. We are still praying together - and tonight my camera was within reach.  It sort of interrupted the thought process to stop and take a picture, but I feel that the prayer was still complete.
3. Fall decorations have been destroyed.
4. A story.

1.  I think Mel actually enjoyed her devil costume.  She seemed right at home in it as she slithered about the living room.  I'm not sure she appreciated the horns as much as the cape (perhaps she felt like supercat?), but I didn't lose any arms, legs, fingers, toes, or eyeballs in the process of dressing her up. Or my face.  =D

2. In a previous post I wrote how when I sit down, light a candle, and start to pray out loud for my friend Will who is fighting cancer, Mel will come up and sit with me long enough for the prayer and will hop back down once I'm finished.  Well tonight I caught her in the act!  You can see the lit candle between her ears. :)

3. Once the devil costume was on the beasty, she proceeded to eat my hay bale, silk flowers and chew on my candy corn lights.  Once the devil costume was off the beasty, she proceeded to eat my hay bale, silk flowers and chew on my candy corn lights. Here she has pulled apart my silk flower arrangement that I made by hand, myself.

And 4....A story.

So the other day I came home with several bags of stuff in my arms.  I kicked open my door, put everything down and shut the door behind me.  Normally Mel greets me and if I jangle my keys, I hear her squawking.  Well my hands were full so there was no key jangling and therefore no squawking.  And there was no cat.  Highly unusual.
I started to call for her.  She generally comes to her name especially if she has been alone all day.
No Mel.
I went into my room.  Not on the bed.
I opened up my closet and checked my pile of handbags.  No Mel.
Pile of jeans.  No Mel.
Suitcase.  No Mel.
Linen closet.  No Mel.
Laundry room.  No Mel.
Dining area.  No Mel.
Living room.  No Mel.
Under the bed. No Mel.
Under the couch.  No Mel.
Guest bathroom.  No Mel.
My bathroom.  No Mel.
Balcony to see if she locked herself out again.  No Mel.
Guest bedroom.  No Mel.
Guest bedroom closet.  No Mel.
Bathroom cupboards.  No Mel.
Kitchen cupboards.  No Mel.
Dryer.  No Mel.
Underwear drawer.  No Mel.
I was beginning to get frantic as I had covered my square footage + some at this point.
No Mel.
Well something I've been learning over the past few months is that in staying calm, I usually get what I want sooner and easier than freaking out.  Sort of like the old story about the princess who searches high and low for her prized pearl and diamond necklace and can't find it anywhere, but when she sits down to think it through, she finds it already around her own neck.
At this point I'm talking to myself.
Mel is generally not the Houdini type cat.  She's generally just a crank pot.
I'm racking my brain.  Did someone come in my house and steal my cat?!
I noticed that my sofa pillows had the tell tale cat indentation in them.  I touched it.  Still warm.
Cat must be close by.  I relaxed a little bit.
About 10 minutes had passed.
I retrace my steps....
Just then there was a knock on the door.
I ran over and opened it and in comes Mel.
Mel was not the one who knocked.  But she may as well have been.
My neighbor stood there looking at me, and said, "Oh I guess that IS your cat."
"Oh my gosh!!" I gushed.  "Where did you find her?  I've been looking everywhere for her!!"
Verbatim: "She was sitting at the top of the stairs staring at your door like she wanted in."

Sigh.  It's a good thing she does not have opposable thumbs - nothing would be safe.

One final picture for tonight that I'm sure will help me get a date in the future:

She does have her moments....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's a Lion, It's a Bear....It's Just Mel

In an effort to not spend a gazillion dollars getting home this holiday season, I started my airfare search early.  At one point Mom (Gammy) and I had discussed driving cross country again like we did last year (circumstances being that I was too sick, unable, and not allowed to travel by plane).  In an effort to get home for my grandfather's funeral service and have Christmas together in addition to allowing me some ample supervised recooperating time from surgery, Mom plopped me in the back seat of my Toyota Echo (at 106,000 miles) and set off ahead of a snow storm (go Momma Bear!).  Our car ride was fun until Day Four when we were both going stir crazy in the teeny tiny, itty bitty Toyota Echo...and we hit snow in Flagstaff, AZ.  Mom even made me wear a pink birthday ribbon and tiara on our drive through Tennessee last December 4th.
(Anecdotal side story:  We crawled into an Ihop after a long day of driving, Mom relentless about me wearing my tiara and ribbon to announce to the world that it was my birthday (mind you I could barely walk at this point) and the server (who also told my mom that he had no idea what the soup of the day was, but that it smelled) asked, "Is it really your birthday?"
"No," I replied, "I wear pink ribbons and tiaras that say 'Birthday Girl' every day."
"Really?  Where are you from?"
"Not East Tennessee."
But I digress.  And I actually love East Tennessee.)

And Mel actually LOVED the car ride.  She sat on my lap almost the entire drive from coast to coast.  The snow we hit in Flagstaff was of particular curiosity to her.  She kept batting the fluffy monster flakes of snow as they splattered on the window and windshield.  When not keeping my lap warm, she was perched behind the seats in the back of the car, keeping a lookout for us. 

So this year I thought, both Mom and I are feeling better and we can make better time.  I want to take Mel with me because I refuse to pay $40-$50 per day for someone to spend 15 minutes throwing down some food for her and probably running out as fast as possible so as not to be eaten alive by the Lion Hybrid Diabolical Beasty.  And I think I've tortured my friends enough with asking them to "take care" of her (IE risking their lives to make sure my house is in one piece).

Well all in all, I worked out the cost and with hotels thrown in, it was still $700 plus whatever mom would have to spend flying both ways anyway to help me drive.  When I found a nonstop fare for the same cost I booked it and booked Mel.

Then I thought, "Oh shit.  What have I done?"

I'm going to have to take Mel on an airplane.  With other people.

I called the airline desk to see what the stipulations were.  $100 each way for Mel.  Will have to check my bag because Mel is my baggage.  Mel is my baggage.  Har har. Har har har.  HAHAHAHAHAHAA.  Never was there a truer statement.   30 day health certificate in advance.  Oh, and they reserve the right to refuse aggressive animals.


"What's considered an aggresive animal?"  I asked, trying to feign stupidity and make it sound like I was only curious, not that I was asking because I own one.

"I mean... she's going to probably be hissing because she'll be scared."

Nice recovery - Mel as a scared little petunia in an onion patch.... right.

"I would recommend a tranquilizer," said the representative.

I simply ended the conversation at that point (tranquilizer?  yeah right.  Can I get a tranquilizer to tranquilize her please?).

So I'm a wee bit concerned about getting Mel on the plane.  On the other hand, they accept people who pay for one seat and take up two, and screaming ill-behaved children.  My little dumpling will be just fine.

But just to be safe, I think I'll call the animal control shelter and see if they have any leftover bear tranquilizer darts that they'd be willing to sell me.

Oh and the whole thing about not spending a gazillion dollars was such a joke.

Mel riding in the car on the drive home last March.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

She's a witch...she's a devil...she's a...pumpkin?

This past weekend Mel and I decorated her house.
Mel LOVES decorations.  Decorations involve boxes.  New smells.  Things to chew on.  Ladders.  Climbing up on the ladders so that I can't get down.
The first year I had Mel I bought her an angel costume for Halloween.  It was only a dollar and she ate the pipe cleaner halo.
This year my mom sent a much more appropriate devil costume for Mel.  I'm procrastinating on putting it on her.  I may wait until closer to Halloween so that in the event I lose an arm I'll fit right in without costume.
As I unpacked the box of fall decorations I pulled out Mel hopped in and out of the boxes, chewing on most of my decorations.  Melody got her name because when she is excited she seems to dance around in her own way.  Appropriately:

Mel's Favorite Things (to tune)-
Dried autumn leaves in baskets a plenty
Pumpkins and ghosts that number of twenty
Boxes to jump in and hide til attack
Kelsey's foot that I'll never give back

Fall colored leaves on a long string of garland
To understand garland you must be a MacFarland
Draped everywhere for the cat to chew on
The devil at work, or at least his spawn!

Then comes the wretching brought on by fake leaves
It's the best thing when that sound's achieved
Sounds like a plumber who just cleared a pipe
Don't take away my leaves or you'll get a big swipe

When it's autumn
With the beasty
And you're feeling scared
Just simply remember to fight her right back
With vinegar spraaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy... and a glaaaaarrrrre

Bravo, bravo.

So this weekend was filled with trouble making.  My leaf garland (my love of which is inherited from the MacFarlane/MacFarland side of the family who always seem to have garlands draped around at holiday time, my dislike of which comes from the cat treat they become) half survived the cat.  I place my pumpkin decorations out along with some autumnal candles.

And then I went a little to far and bought a can of pumpkin at the grocery store.  What on earth could Kelsey possible be doing with a can of pumpkin besides making something nasty for a haunted house?  Surely, SURELY, she is not going to try to actually make something edible with pumpkin.  From scratch!?

Ahhh yes.  I did.

Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin cookies.  Not ONCE did I set off my fire alarm - huzzah!!

AND I learned something about Mel.

Mel loves pumpkin.

The cat who won't eat wet cat food, tuna from a can, cat treats, expensive cat treats, gourmet cat treats, luxury cat treats, things that are cat treats bordering on human food - she ate pumpkin.  Just when I thought things couldn't get any more weird.

I have to say, walking into my kitchen and seeing Mel with her head down in the (nearly) empty can of pumpkin guts caused me to stop, turn around, and walk back into the kitchen a second time just to make sure I was really, actually seeing this happen.

Sure enough she brought her head up out of the can, covered with pumpkin and cleaning and preening the morsels off of her face with her paw, quite enthusiastically.

Last night she had her face in my pumpkin cookies.  This morning she had her nose in my pumpkin bread.  Relentlessly.  I finally put some bread crumbs in her dish and she neatly ate around her regular food, sucking up the bread crumbs.

Now interestingly, I attended church yesterday and the sermon was on the bread of life.  Our minister brought in a basket of all types of different breads for communion - tortillas, naan, pita, gluten-free... and blah blah I'll spare you a spiritual lecture, but it was quite an interesting message.  In my previous post I mentioned how Mel has been "praying" with me for our friend Will.  All of a sudden my cat is eating bread.  Has she been enlightened?  Has she come over from the dark side?  Has she taken a break from reigning over Hell?  Had she not eaten her pipe cleaner halo, I could try it on her and see if she were to spaz or spontaneously combust or sit peacefully.

Nah.  I'm looking forward to seeing the devil costume that "Gammy" sent on her, but not getting it on her.  Maybe if I leave it sitting out for her she'll put it on herself just like she helped herself to eating pumpkin.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Prayers and Hairs

It's been awhile since there have been some serious Mel antics.  I feel like I am waiting in the calm before the storm.

Other than attempting to ingest my blooming violets and laying on my freshly dried, clean clothes in the dryer (her favorite naughty thing to do), things have been pretty mild.

Although we are back to the 4am Mel tornadoes around the condo during which she enjoys jumping up on the bed, running around the room, flying back up onto the bed, and chewing on my hair.  This is by far the strangest Mel behavior I have ever encountered (thus far anyway, I hesitate to make any definitive statement about Melody).

Mel and I have actually been praying together.  There's a saying about cats and their recognition of positive vs. negative energy and "filling the void" when too much negative energy is present or "boosting" the positive energy.  When I was sick last year, Mel seemed to always know where my pain is and then position herself on that place.  She even learned that she couldn't lay on my right side where my ostomy bag was and where they had made the incision to perform surgery.  She remains intuitive about my moods or if I'm not feeling well.  Besides friends, cats are the best medicine.

This past week has been tough - in fact typing out the word "week" seems so disconnected because the past week has felt like months.  A good friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer.  In fact it is our buddy Buddy's Dad, Will.  Strangely one of the only people Mel ever liked, I swear she knew exactly who I was talking about the other night when I started praying for him out loud while sitting in bed.

She hopped up on the bed and curled up on my lap, shifting her weight and looking up at me with her green eyes as if to say "I want to pray for him too."  I put my hand down next to her paw and she put her paw on my hand.  It was really an amazing thing.  Once we were done, it was also like she knew.  She got up, stretched out and jumped off the bed and didn't return until the lights were out.  She has continued to sit with me when I pray for my friend at 11pm each night.  I think it is her way of putting that boost of positive energy into the prayer for Will.

Nightly, Mel and I "share" the (my) pillow.  This involves me using the far right corner (approx. 2 inches of the pillow) and her laying on the rest of it.

While very cute and charming, there are several things that happen in this scene.  Either I end up with Mel's whiskers tickling my face or ear, I end up with her butt in my face, or she chews my hair - in a fashion similar to a cow chewing its cud.  Nosh nosh nosh.  Smack smack smack.

I've never been able to figure out why she does this.  Does my hair taste good?  Is there something in my shampoo that makes it tasty?  Does it feel good between her teeth?  Is she actually trying to eat my hair like she eats my violets?  ...
My cat is possibly trying to eat me alive.  I knew it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mel in the Morning

First thing I saw when I woke up this morning with her tongue sticking out in my face:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Schedule IV: Catnip

The other day my father arrived to visit Mel and I (well mostly me), and in an attempt to warm up to his "grandkitty" brought with him presents from "Gammy and Gampy."  Yes we're a weird family.  If only you knew.

Among the treasures of gold, frankincense, myrrh, fuzzy mice and jingle balls, lay a true treasure:  two dimebags of catnip.  Yes, truly, that is what they were.

The plan somewhat worked, instead of attacking his suitcase per normal, Mel was distracted by her new found street cred, tearing into the plastic with her teeth and consuming it raw.  This lead to running around in vicious circles.  Attacking my couch.  Doing Mel tornadoes up and down the hallway.  Causing general frenzy.  Reminding me of the cartoon in which the train goes:  "AH-OOOO-WA" and lets out a giant puff of steam.

After approximately two minutes, her eyes glazed over and she strettttcccchhhhheeddd out across the floor, head on her paws gazing at my dad like he was her hero.

And speaking of frankincense and myrrh, my father proceeded into a resounding rendition of Brewer and Shipley's 1970s hit "one toke over the line, sweet Jesus, one toke over the line" as she lay prostrate on my living room carpet in a pile of dried herb, delirious.

"One toke over the line sweet Jesus, one toke over the line..."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Buddy's Letter Home

Dear Dad,

You've been replaced by an awesome human!!  Not that you're not awesome, just there's another awesome person now for me to protect and play with!!  And she is the SAME SIZE as ME!!!!

I'm a little confused as to what happened to you, but she keeps telling me that you'll be back soon.  I hope so because even though she's really great (and smells like plants and cat), I really miss you.

When she first brought me to this new place I was a little scared because there was this HUGE gray spiky thing that sounded like a constipated rhinoceros blocking the ENTIRE doorway.  It was also spitting at us and hissing and it had really sharp things coming out of its mouth and feet.  I think this is another c-a-t.  But I've always thought cats were something to play with, not evil.  Oh well.  She sort of comes out and acts like she wants to be nice and then she swats at my nose.  She won't let me walk past her in the hallway and she keeps blocking the doorway to the rooms I go into and then won't move to let me out.  I don't think she likes me that much and I get a little jealous when she gets attention from the human.  I'd really like to get the chance to sniff her butt at some point though.

This new person doesn't seem to like when I try to get on her couch and when I tried to sit in her lap she made an oof sound, but I think she liked it.  I wanted to let you know that I've been doing a VERY good job at protecting her and barking at EVERYONE to make them go away.  She yells "no!" but I think she's thanking me for doing such a great job.  Tonight she said, "You're going to make me tear my brains out," and I barked even louder.  I'm pretty proud of myself.

Oooh and she has the BEST sticks!!  They smell like all kinds of wonderful good-ness.  Dead things and poop and mold and there are a bunch of them down in the sewer drain.  For some reason she will only throw clean sticks for me, which is ok I guess...they just don't taste nearly as good.  You won't believe this but today she actually told me that she couldn't throw the stick if I kept eating it.  I thought that was the point!?

She makes me sit and stay before we go on a walk and then she gives me treats when I walk next to her.  I like her enough...does she think she is bribing me to like her?  I never let her go anywhere without me in the house!!  I just want to go smell everything so badly!!  I'm not sure if I like getting treats or following my nose the best, so I kind of walk in a big circle doing both.  She's getting more stingy on the treats, but she keeps calling me a "good boy."  If I'm a good boy, where are my treats!?

Yesterday I thought she made something delicious for me.  It turns out it was her dinner, not mine.  Oops.  I tried to be very good after that last night to say I was sorry.  She called it a veggie burger and it was ddeeeeee-licious!! Dad, I want to eat veggie burgers alllll the time now!!  Can I?  Can I please?

She says I'm off on another adventure tomorrow and that she'll miss me.  I'll sure miss her - and veggie burgers and sewer sticks!!  But probably not the c-a-t.

Miss you Dad.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

All's Quiet on the Western Front...Sort Of

Since we’ve had Buddy staying with us, there has been a lack of privacy for myself…mainly in that the dog insists on being within 3 inches of my person at all time or else barks, whines, or otherwise freaks out.

And yes, this includes taking a shower and using the bathroom. 

At first I fought it.  But like the joke about the dog sleeping on the bed (he hasn’t won that battle yet by the way), I soon gave in so that I could pee in peace.

So now the routine is for me to leave the door open while I do my business (I guess if the dog has to do it in the open, so do I). 

Tonight, Mel was particularly wicked - beyond the usual growls that are comparable to rolling thunder.

As I sat reading my magazine (I know it’s TMI, but I’m setting the scene for you), Buddy sprawled out on the tile floor, pretty much filling up the rest of the space in my bathroom, but very happy that he hadn’t lost sight of me for even a brief moment.  Shortly after, the dog looked from me to right around the corner.  He inched himself up and stretched himself out to extend his body length as much as he could to get the best of both worlds and strained to see out of the bathroom.  Suddenly he jolted back, but continued to stare. 

Next to the entrance to my bathroom is my dresser, upon which the Diabolical Beasty had perched herself, just around the corner of the bathroom. 

Torn between venturing more than body warmth’s distance from me and the glaring cat, Buddy wriggled back and forth on my bathroom floor and began to whimper. 

After washing my hands, I peeked around the corner of the door to find Mel in a staring contest with the dog and a look upon her face that was absolute delicious enjoyment of her own evil and torment that she was causing. 

If I ever lacked the conviction that my cat is an evil beast, I do not anymore after seeing the Cheshire cat grin upon her muzzle. 

I chuckled, saying “you’re a real bitch Mel” and walked out of the bathroom.

And for one of the first times in the past 3 days, I now had 3 feet of space between me and the dog. 

Held captive in the bathroom by Mel’s evil glare, the dog refused to emerge.  Taking advantage of this, I did a quick switch of laundry and put away some dishes – neither of which I’ve been able to accomplish in the past few days for fear of immediate dog slobber soiling. 

I came back to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and in an attempt to relieve some of Buddy’s anxiety I partially closed the door to the bathroom. 

The next thing I knew, an 80 pound, shivering, shaking weimereiner had himself pressed into me with all his might.  Cabinet knobs are not exceedingly comfortable when they are in places they shouldn’t be while being stuck between a frightened pup and bathroom cabinetry. 

Cowering behind the door and practically trying to crawl inside of me to get closer, I peered around the edge to see Mel, sitting quietly, thumping her tail, at the entrance of the bathroom.  She knew very well that she was cornering us in that bathroom.  It was a deliberate act of evil. 

Well, I hate to say it, but I wasn’t about to lose an arm while trying to move her, and she is the 2nd in line of the household matriarchy.  There was no way in all hell that Buddy was going to go past the fang-dangling ball of fluff.

So for about 7 minutes tonight, I, and an 80-pound dog, once again, were held prisoners by my own cat, in my own bathroom.  

What's 80 pounds, half as tall as I am, and scared shitless of Mel?

Recently, I offered to take in another roommate - a friend's dog.

I reasoned that the dog is not a cat and perhaps Mel's alpha tendencies would not show towards a species other than feline or human.  I told myself that she would adapt to the dog because otherwise, in her mind, the dog would eat her.  I thought, "finally!  she will be put in her place!"

I brought the dog home on Monday, Labor Day around 9 am.  Buddy was rather freaked out when I picked him up and after the (eventful) drive home, I was looking forward to Mel getting a taste of her own medicine.  

It was a struggle to get the dog upstairs as he follows his nose and there are many interesting things to smell in my building such as the other dog, the apartment with cats, the incense my neighbors burn, the place where a dead animal carcass was left and the homeless guy under the stairs.  

Finally at the top of the stairs (victory!), I put the key in the door and heard her royal diabolicalness on the other side.  "Mroww mrow mrow mrrrrrrowwwwwww."  

Bwahahahaha.  This was it.  My chance to recover from three years of abuse!

Now I have to say, I was slightly worried that this dog was going to attack my baby, but at the same time, I could tell he was so excited that he would just be playing and wanting to sniff.  I got a firm grip on his leash and gave myself some room to be pulled, backing up halfway across the landing from my door.  

I leaned far over and pushed the door open. 

The dog rushed in. 

The dog rushed out. 

Whimpering, yelping, and made a dash down the stairs towards the much safer homeless guy sleeping under the stairs.  

Mind you, this occurred in the course of seconds.  

Like a cartoon I was left with my arm still outstretched from holding the leash, and standing towards the open door, dumbfounded.  

And there sat Mel. 

Preening and cleaning her face in the most indignant way, fluffed up to nearly twice her normal size, eyes black like her heart and fangs of steel protruding from her jaw (ok that's for dramatic effect, her fangs only FEEL like steel, but I do think her heart is black).  While you couldn't really tell, the noise was definitely coming from her and it sounded what I imagined a beached whale sounds like. 

I closed the door as if I had peeked behind the wrong one.  Next time, I would open the right door, the dog would go in and the cat would be put in her place.  

I went downstairs after the dog and coaxed (yes, coaxed) him back up the stairs.  

"Buddddddy, come on pretty boy."  

I made him sit while I opened the door.  I stood behind him so that there would be no running away.  

I cracked it and instantly I had an 80 pound dog between my legs, whimpering and trying with all his might to flee back down the stairs.  

The struggle went on for about 3 minutes, which is a long time when you are fighting with such a big dog to get him somewhere he doesn't want to be.  Mel stood her ground the whole time, not once backing off or moving.  Just staying a fluffy ball of growling teeth and holding her own, hissing and spitting and being generally unagreeable.  

Well at this point, Buddy and I were cornered in the entrance - me waiting for him to get her to back off and him waiting for me to get her to back off.  Apparently neither of us have any balls.  

Eventually I made a move towards her and the hostage situation was dispelled.  

In the meantime, the 80 pound weimaraner is terrified of my 10 pound feline who was most certainly NOT put in her place. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What's That Smell?

There are few things that Mel loves more than a nice long computer cord to wrap herself up in and chew on, or Chinese food.

About once a week I order takeout and while Mel won't touch any type of canned cat food, cat treats, organic salmon strips, seasoned organic salmon strips, or tuna (I've probably lost $100 experimenting with treats for her), she loves her some Chinese food, especially sauces.  Unfortunately Mel's digestive system isn't built to digest whatever they put in Chinese food sauce (then again, are any of us?) and this inevitably ends up with her farting on my pillow all night long.

Tonight I tried a new Chinese food place.  I came home and set up the containers all over my living room coffee table and scooped from each container onto the plate.  When I order Chinese food I generally get 3-5 different things and continue to eat them for the next week.  Variety is the spice of life.  At my normal Chinese place they know me, and my order, and when he makes my delivery, the gentleman always teases me:
"All fow yoo?"
"Yes it is!"
Giggle, giggle - "You ssshould weigh fow hundwed pounds!"

I briefly went to the kitchen for a moment to get a drink and came back to find Mel's face in my plate of Chinese food.

What's really annoying is she just licks at it.  She doesn't even consume it.

So I debate.  How long has she been licking my egg foo yung?  They say a dog's mouth is cleaner than a person's mouth.  Is that true for cats?  I'd really rather not throw out my entire plate of food because it has a little cat spit in it.  She won't actually eat it, so the rest of it just goes to waste.  I wonder how long ago she last licked her crotch?

I decided to cut around the middle section of the egg foo yung where she had licked, making the letter O in my food.

Her highness had now  positioned herself behind me.  When this happens, I become very nervous.  When this happens, she is usually about to attack my elbow with her teeth, jump on my head or fly from behind me onto the coffee table in front of the couch knocking off everything in her way.  Out of sheer terror for what's about to happen, I usually just freeze and hope that it's over soon.  Well because I wanted to protect my food, I turned around just enough, and sure enough she went flying past me, onto the coffee table and sent soy sauce-y chopsticks flying across the living room and onto my white carpet.  She then proceeded to chase after them, sniff them, and lick them, holding them in between her paws as though they were prey.  Afterwards she thoroughly cleaned herself and sat looking at me with an incredulous look of "geez didn't your mother teach you to share?"

She's now curled up at my feet and her indigestion has apparently already begun.  Thank you Mel. You're a real treat.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bonding with a Sadist

Yes.  My cat is a sadist.  She takes pleasure in cruelty and pain.
Particularly in causing it to me.
Our relationship is riddled with nighttime ninja attacks.  Some with more stealth than others, but all quite cruel and/or painful.  I've not yet concluded what her strategic objective may be (rather perhaps I do not wish to face that it might be my own demise).  She has no rules of engagement, at least as far as I can tell.   This is what I can glean of her operational order.
Know thy enemy.  -Sun Tzu

Situation:  Invader who walks on two legs.  No fur except on head and sometimes legs but this disappears every few days.  Controls food supply and exit routes. No friendlies.  Solo mission support.

Mission:  Destroy.

1.) Operation Suffocation - Nighttime operation.  Jump onto bed. Purr, meow and act content.  Invader will allow you to fall asleep next to her once you win her heart and mind.  Once Invader is definitely asleep, maneuver to the pillow.  Settle down.  Make sure Invader is still sleeping.  Slowly creep closer and closer to Invader's face.  Closer and closer.  Resist chewing on hair while doing this, despite tasting yummy and feeling good between the teeth, it will wake invader.  Finally plaster self over face of Invader, making sure to wrap yourself around Invader's head in an intent to cut off air supply.  Invader will suffocate.

2.) Operation Fang - Daytime or Nighttime operation.  Deceive Invader into thinking you are "friends" with her.  Cuddle, purr and use many other deceptive actions (like human males) to "bond" with her.  Once you gain her trust - ATTACK FROM NO WHERE!!!  Drawing blood is always effective.  Risky operation as Invader likely to retaliate.

3.) Operation Thump - Generally nighttime operation.  Jump onto Invader's head while she is lying in bed, from the floor.  Shock and surprise will cause Invader to propel herself from the bed, get tangled in the bed covers, often ending up with Invader in a pile on the floor with a loud thumping noise.

4.) Operation Nightowl - Nighttime operation.  Wait until Invader is making a "schnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaa  scchoooooooooooo"  sound.  Once this happens, find everything in the room that you can make noise with.  Claw the wicker hamper.  Chew on Invader's glasses or lamp shade.  Plastic bags are most effective - paw at them, play with them, lay on them, wrap yourself in them and walk around the room.  Hit the on button on Invader's "alarm clock" - a boxy looking thing with blue glow in the dark numbers on it.  Force Invader to continually get up and get out of bed to remove the source of your noise causing.  When all possible avenues of noise have been exhausted, jump onto the bed and paw at Invader.  Plaster yourself against her shoulder and slap your paw on her face.  Chew her hair.  Put your butt in her face and fart on the pillow.  Bite her nose.  Bite her arm.  Knead her shoulder.  Knead her head.  Meow loudly for attention.  Chase your tail in circles while on stepping on Invader.  Jump off the bed and go running through the house, making as much noise as possible and crashing into as many things as possible and then fly back onto the bed - the head is always the landing zone.  Always remember: A ten pound cat is capable of sounding like a plane taking off.

5.) Operation Urinate- Pee on everything.  Suit jackets.  Pianos.  Carpets.  Clean laundry.  Dirty laundry.  Newspapers.  Magazines.  Important papers (particularly something called "taxes").  Bwahahahaha.

Mel doing some Recon

I'm watching you...

She knows....

In the three years since Mel and I have (successfully?) "adjusted" to having each other as roommates, I've found that we both have a rather keen sense on reading people and situations.
However, I confess that when it comes to ex-boyfriends I may have no skill whatsoever in reading a person.  I am, sadly, easily wooed by someone simply laughing at my jokes, smiling at me, and looking deeply into my eyes. Worse, I may be easily wooed by someone who does not laugh at my jokes, does not smile at me, and does not look deeply into my eyes.
In other words, I'm a total sucker.  Anyone familiar with my love life will vouch.
Mel on the other hand, has an knack for letting me know when she doesn't like someone.
Well, Mel doesn't really like ANYONE, but there are particular people she really doesn't like.
Sometimes she's wrong (she hissed at my grandma which was very rude and very much hurt Gram's and I's feelings).
But on some occasions - it's just too damn obvious to misread.
She peed in a recent, ex-boyfriend's suitcase, long long ago.  I should have read into that sign then.
Though I couldn't stop laughing at the time, I don't think he thought it was very funny and Mel just sat in perfect Mel fashion - "thwack, thwack" with her tail, glaring at him as if to say, "get the hell out of my house."  And looking at me, no doubt, wondering if she had made her point.
She would also refuse to let him walk into the house, get into the bed, sit on the couch, walk into the kitchen, drink anything in the living room without knocking it over onto my floor (causing my anger to be at him, not her of course), pet her, or take a shower without trying to jump in with him and attack.  A flurry of yelps and cursing would ensue behind the shower curtain, which was usually moving in such a fashion that one could tell something very violent was happening behind there.  There were occasions in which I wondered if the "I cut myself with the razor" line was a macho excuse, that the bleeding was from Mel's talons.  She would also give him the look of death from across the room, and if gamma rays could come out of her eyes, he would be a pile of ash.  Part of me regrets that gamma rays don't actually come out of her eyes.
Recent ex-boyfriend turned out to be a real douchebag and I wonder now why I didn't end it when she pissed in his suitcase and sat there looking simply at me as if to say, "Do you understand?."
Mel always knows best.

Thwack. Thump. Mrrrroww.

Three years ago I met my match, in a cat who was named Rosie at the time.
I went to Rosie's foster home to meet her after meeting at least 10 other cats and just not clicking with them - of course they were all cute and I wanted them all, but none of them seemed to really be the challenge I was looking for.  Just like in life, they needed to work for it.  Being cute wasn't enough to come home with me.
When I met Rosie, she came right up to me, sniffed my hand and sat down and glared at me, thumping her tail on the floor in a dog-style fashion.
By glare, I mean she intently stared at me like she already hated my guts and I didn't have a chance with her.
I felt rejected.
Complete and total rejection.
But this was the challenge I was looking for.
I grabbed a feather toy and waved it in front of her face.
She got up, turned her butt to me and went across the room and sat down 10 feet away from me, taking up her glaring contest again and completely and utterly ignoring the cat toy I was trying to invade her space with.
"Come here Rosie," I said, patting the floor in front of me.  "Rosie, do you want to be my family?  Come here."
With that, she let out a "Mrrrroowwww," got up and came over and sat down about 6 inches away from me, thumping her tail some more.
I made no attempt to pet her but glared back at her intent stare.  Here was my challenge.
I knew this was the cat for me.
Rosie arrived with the rather insane animal rescue volunteer.  I hate to categorize all animal rescue people as being weird, crazy, and full of emotional issues, because I would consider myself one of them, but not falling into that category.
"Put her in the bathroom and let her get used to the space," the volunteer said, "Just let her come out slowly and explore."
My bathroom, about the size of a Port-o-Potty, did not have enough room for both me, the volunteer, and the cat.
The volunteer snatched the cat carrier and insisted on showing me how to "introduce" the cat to my home.  Having been a cat owner my whole life, I tried not to be offended and let her stomp into my port-o-potty bathroom to let the cat out herself.
She went in and put the cat carrier down on the 2 square inches of floor and got down on her hands and knees, uttering noises that I can assume she thought "communicated" with the growling cat in the Sherpa bag.
"It's okay Rosie," she chirped.
The view at this point was a half closed door, the volunteer's rump up in the air blocking the door from closing, with her face presumably down near the cat carrier flap - all the while lecturing me on how to introduce a cat into my home.
At some point, I can only assume she unzipped the carrier flap because a highly incensed Rosie, who I would quickly learn was anything BUT the adjective her name alluded to, came flying out of the bathroom, over the top of the volunteer's head and rump, shrieking, hissing and growling all the while.  A whirlwind of gray flew past me, circled the room in tornado fashion, and disappeared somewhere into the small apartment.
The flustered volunteer told me just to "give her time" and "let her adjust" and promptly left, presumably slightly embarrassed, and not wanting me to change my mind on the adoption.
Well it really didn't take anytime for Rosie to adjust, I promptly changed her name as it was not only ill-fitting but reminded me of Rosie O'Donnell.  I couldn't have something sleeping in my bed at night that reminded me of Rosie O'Donnell.  
Melody would be her name.  For the sweet cacophony of growling and shrieking that came out of her mouth continuously for our first year together.  Mel for short.
And quite promptly, my home became Mel's place - I just live here.