Archive | October, 2017

Challenges with Multiple Cats

30 Oct

Virginia helped me cut out my Handmaid’s Tale cloak. Her attention span for the project was sadly lacking. When she scampered off, Gabriel decided to burrow under the fabric and disguise himself as Little Red Riding Hood.


I’m going to plug Felliway (a cat relaxer) in lots of rooms and see if that prevents Virginia and Vita from pissing on stuff. I think it’s both of them, not only because I caught Vita doing it when she was a kitten, but also because today a shirt had fallen to the floor, and she was on it, and it was full of piss. I also need to be careful not to drop fabric or clothing on the floor; in other words, this should be incentive to be less messy. Should. In a few years, I’ll replace most of the carpeting (library and 2 upstairs bedrooms) with tile and/or hardwood, so they won’t want to piss on the carpet. And I just ordered a cat fence for a large part of the backyard. The things I do for my cats.


On another note….today I thought a pedestrian was wearing a Wolfman costume. As he came closer, I realized he was hipster with long hair, a full beard, and sunglasses.

Yet Another Manipulator

24 Oct

I’m so tired of manipulative assholes. They’re very fortunate that I need time to process and that my default is to be nice to people…even when they’re manipulative assholes. Furthermore, I recently figured out that often when I meet someone with bad vibes, I tell myself I’m just nervous around them because I have social anxiety; it’s not until I’ve seen this person repeatedly that I finally realize they’re bad news. I have a history of putting up with bad people multiple times before I finally get fed up and can no longer be polite to them.

At least this time, I’ve managed to process on the same day as the incident. Perhaps some day it’ll take seconds after meeting the bad person, and I’ll turn around and walk out on them or hang up on them or have a great retort…whatever the circumstances warrant.

This Monday, I was at my second appointment at the gym and, after talking about my missing cat during my training, I spotted a pet supply store a few doors down. I happened to have some “Neko is Missing” fliers with me, so I decided I’d go in, ask if they’ll post the flier, and buy some cat food while I’m there. So I went inside the pet store.

The store owner approached me immediately, and I showed him the flier and explained that my cat is missing.

He asked how long she’s been missing. In hindsight, I should have said, “Six days,” since that’s when I discovered that she was no longer hanging out at a couple of neighbors’ houses and had wandered further away and was allegedly spotted at a nearby condo complex. Instead, I replied, “Since early September.”

He said, “That’s too long ago! It’s too late.”

Instead of punching him, I went into shock. “Actually, it’s more complicated than that. She was eating at a neighbor’s house for weeks and hasn’t been for the past week.”

He didn’t apologize for his callous and cruel remark. He glanced down at the flier he was holding and said, “Well, I’ll help you, but you have to buy stuff here.” He asked about my regular pet supply store, and I told him I go to The Healthy Pet; I didn’t mention that they’re very nice and respectful toward their customers and care about animals, unlike him.

I was in a stunned state and acting as though he was one of my toxic relatives, who wired my brain in early childhood to side with bullies against myself and to tip-toe around toxic assholes who are similar to them. Yet underneath that early childhood conditioning, upon which I acted, I already knew that he was devoid of empathy and compassion, didn’t care about animals, and was blackmailing and manipulating me.

I went into the store with the intention of shopping for cat food (if you have five cats, you can easily understand), so even if he weren’t blackmailing and manipulating, I would have done what I did: make a bee-line for the cat food aisle. I quickly discovered that he doesn’t sell any of the food that my cats are accustomed to eating, but I picked up a few cans of cat food that I thought they’d like, and I grabbed a cat snack, and I carried them to the front counter, never mind how ill at ease I was with this asshole.

As soon as I reached the counter, he said, “You shop only here from now on.” He pulled out a bag of dry cat food and tried to sell it to me, but it contained duck, and I doubted my cats would like that. “You only come to this pet store from now on.” He must have said that at least twice, and I was too stunned to tell him off and march out, as I wish, in hindsight, I had done. The seoond time I thought, I’ll alternate with both stores. I can’t stop going to The Healthy Pet. He kept offering me different dry cat foods, and when I agreed to buy one bag of cat food and get the other half off, he still wasn’t done: he gestured toward a freezer containing raw food for cats and dogs and gave me a used car salesman spiel about that, too, as he already had for dry catfood. I didn’t buy any of the raw cat food, but he gave me a couple of free samples and said, “From now on, you only shop at this pet store.”

He asked me about the cat food my cats normally eat, and he dismissed their favorite dry food by saying that those brands charge too much. Um, they’re quality organic and grain-free catfood from the Pacific Northwest. He asked about their wet food, and I told him; since he asked more about it, such as what size the pouches are, I searched on my smartphone and showed him an image of one pounch of my cat’s favorite food. He said he’d sell it to me at a lower price than The Healthy Pet, and he whipped out a binder that was falling apart and showed me lots of handwritten pages, claiming that he can special order the cat food and that he does that all the time. He wrote down the type of catfood and, unfortunately, took down my first name and phone number.

I spent $91 in that store, even though in the twenty minutes or so that I wasted there, the store owner had proved that he’s a manipulative sociopath. He didn’t even try to hide it. He fucking flaunted it. Sociopaths don’t usually flaunt their evil in front of someone they just met; they usually lure you into a false sense of security by doing a performance, pretending to be a wonderful human being, and you might know them for yealrs—you might even marry them—before it becomes obvious that they’re judging and manipulating you. They’re devoid of empathy and compassion and don’t even have a conscience.

As has happened so often with sociopaths and narcissists, I reacted to the manipulative store owner like a deer in headlights. I reacted as though I were at a family reunion, with the very relatives I describe in my novel Skeleton from the Closet.

After I was no longer at the pet store, I carried the catfood out to my car and soon found myself waking up. I realized that within minutes of my setting through the door, the store owner proved that he is callous and doesn’t care about animals. During the time that I was there, he proved that he’s evil.

I finally realized that there was no way in hell that I’m ever setting foot in that store ever again, and even if my regular pet store charges more than that store—which, judging by the price tags I saw, is not the case—I would continue going there. I got home and gradually shifted from deer-in-headlights to righteous indignation.

I’m getting quicker at seeing through the bullshit of toxic humanoids who are too similar to the evil side of my family (and incidentally, I’m No Contact with that side of the family, except my sister and some California cousins who weren’t successfully brainwashed). I’m getting quicker at noticing red flags but still need to reach a stage in which my immediate reaction is to turn around and walk away.

Magician Cats

21 Oct

I’ve lived in this quirky house for a year and a month. It’s been a while since my petite black cat, Vita, either found an exit from the back of the house (actually, an apartment) to the outdoors, or developed a magical ability to disappear from the apartment and appear outdoors. For months, Vita was the only one who did this. Eventually, all the cats figured out how to do it; thus in order to keep all the cats inside, I must keep a certain door closed. I’m still not sure how they do it, although I have a theory: the bottom of one upstairs crawlspace has a square aperture that leads down…somewhere…possibly into the laundry room.


Because it’s October and cat-hating psychopaths are allegedly on the loose, torturing and murdering cats this time of year, I’m keeping my cats indoors. (Hopefully one of these days I’ll either have a catio or a special cat fence, something I found while searching online for “catio.”) However, Vita and her sister, Virginia, have managed to get outdoors a couple times this month, and they have a new magic power.

They can magically go from outdoors to another upstairs crawl space, the one that leads to my bedroom.

I closed off that crawlspace a long time ago, because a contractor said someone was using it for a litter box. It’s a pity, since this crawlspace attracted all the cats when we moved into the house. Strangely, after Vita or Virginia goes outside, she ends up mewing from inside the upstairs crawlspace. I must enter a closet and pry a board away from the wall in order to get the cat out of the crawlspace. This is just too weird.

Skeleton from the Closet on Kindle

14 Oct

My magical realism novel Skeleton from the Closet is now available on Kindle!

The trade paperback edition will be coming soon.


Bohemian and feminist Kezia moves into the charming Craftsman house her uncle left her…in Kansas, where she moves and finds herself surrounded by conservatives, including toxic relatives. Aunt Edith seemed so kind and loving when she was a kid, but now she’s scathingly contemptuous toward Kezia, who begins redecorating and meets a walking and talking Skeleton, more than willing to tell her dark family secrets.

Skeleton from the Closet Ebook Available!

12 Oct

BookCoverPreview (1)

The ebook version of my magical realism novel, Skeleton from the Closet, is available beginning this Saturday! It’s only available on Kindle, for $3.99.

The print paperback should be available sometime next week…depending on when I receive the second proof and whether I make changes. I’m doing this a second time just to make absolutely sure the book looks good before it’s official. The first time I self-published a book, my dad went into hospice care and passed away when I was supposed to be proofreading, so I barely looked at the proof. This time, I want to get it right.

Haedrig’s Return

11 Oct


I finally have Haedrig, a very skittish cat, closed inside for the first time since spring. He’s officially not allowed out anymore (like he was in Portland). After we moved, he and Neko came in and out in the fall and winter like the other cats but blew me off again in the spring. I keep kicking myself because, in hindsight, I really should have shut that cat door in the winter rather than assuming they wouldn’t run off in the spring, in warmer weather. However, they were downright affectionate in fall in winter, so it didn’t occur to me.

Shortly before midnight last night, I was sitting on a stool in the kitchen, lights out, and facing the open window. For 2 days, I kept the window closed so that Haedrig couldn’t do his usual: sneak in, eat, and run out the moment I start moving toward him. Gabriel was about to jump out the window, when Haedrig appeared on the sill and spotted me. I sat very still, bowed my head, and pretended to fall asleep. He jumped down to the counter, and Gabriel jumped up to the window. I glanced up but lowered my head and again pretended to doze off…until I heard Haedrig jump to the floor. Then I lunged forward and closed the window/cat door.

He’s mostly been hiding upstairs. He’s acting like he did when I adopted him 2 years ago, so it’s like starting over again.

Self-Publishing Progress

10 Oct

In the small hours of the morning, I finished proofreading the interior for my magical realism novel, Skeleton from the Closet. Today I uploaded the latest version of the interior, made a few minor corrections, and uploaded it again. Next I took another look at the cover and made a slight alteration in the back cover copy; the final version of the cover is below.

Now that CreateSpace is reviewing the cover and interior of my novel Skeleton from the Closet, and I have to wait 24 hours, it’s time to get back to work on the other novel I’m self-publishing this month, Rowanwick Witches, Lesson 1: Spells and Enchantments. Fortunately, it’s a middle grade novel and is a lot shorter.

In about twenty-four hours, I’ll be able to finalize Skeleton on CreateSpace, and it’ll be available to purchase on by Saturday. Also in twenty-four hours, I’ll set up the Kindle version of the book.