Archive for December, 2011

expensive tastes


Darwin, who is essentially a giant moth when it comes to sweaters, recently ate a huge hole in the front of a J crew cashmere tee. Now, the sweater was out of its normal, animal-proof storage space because I was thinking about donating it, but still, I think I would have liked to make that decision on my own. It came from a thrift store in the first place, so I guess that its untimely demise is just part of the second-hand shopping cycle—win some, lose some.

I’m not sure what to do, though, with the sad remnants of my former sweater. I’m thinking about turning it into two small dog sweaters. I have no idea how to go about this, but I was tired of looking at a heap of mangled cashmere and got out the scissors. I cut off the sleeves and then realized that each of the shoulders actually forms a pretty good sweater size/shape. Then I made Darwin wear the whole thing around for a bit, looking like a big, sad, oatmeal-colored slug. Then I got bored with this project and put it away. It might work… someday.

Consider this another sad tale of the life of a dissertator. Writing things and making dog sweaters. Sort of. Not really.

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I’ve been trying to get Darwin to sit at crosswalks before we go across the street—this was inspired by his attempt, a few months ago, to rejoin the wild. It’s not really going so well. He sits every time, but it takes a while. And he gives me this look. Maybe the look also has to do with the jacket?

It was kind of snowing today. Darwin licked some ice off a bridge.

In the distance, you can see the Thai pavilion at Olbrich Gardens. It’s looking a bit out of place in the landscape these days.

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is this a theme? might be.


Believe it or not, I’m actually trying to fatten this cat up. Keats started acting out of sorts last week and had some issues that resulted in a vet visit, $200 of lab work, and lots of worry. It turns out that he is fine, if a bit of a medical mystery. But he did lose some weight (don’t worry—he’s still over 15 pounds), so I’m on assignment to tempt him will all kinds of gross food made from baby ducks or something. Apparently, 18 pounds is not overweight for such a cat. The result is lots of dirty cat bowls—probably more cat dishes than human dishes, which, given the current ratio of people:cats, is probably appropriate.


I am addicted to these, which I just found at Costco.


This is not a snack, though it looks like one…especially to the cats. I always have the idea of putting ornaments in footed silver bowls, but it’s never happened before today. I went back to a thrift shop and bought this bowl, which I saw last week, specifically for these birds. That’s kind of nuts, I know.

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My house is full of mirrors. Sort of like a funhouse, but with more antiques. The mirrors don’t make you look fat or short, just silvery or slightly out of focus.


It’s also full of cats—only some of which are the product of “vitreous trickery*.”


There are some new cat-faces around here—we took in a pair of cat-sisters from a refuge in North Carolina. This is Alice, looking for the enchanting cat she sees in the mirror. Her sister, a calico we call George Eliot, is around here somewhere.

Five cats and a dog is quite a bit to manage in 800 square feet, but not as much as you might imagine. They all find their little spots to perch, and the two new cats—though full-grown—are as tiny as they are sweet. They charmed Ricky during his shifts as a volunteer at the refuge, and, after weeks of saying no, I succumbed as well. After all, it’s long been clear that we’re running a small and thoughtfully-decorated animal refuge here. It’s work I’m willing to do—joyfully, and with delight in their company.

*that phrase, which I love, comes from an article on glass by Chris Otter—I read it several years ago, but the words are always bumping around in my head.

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