Category Archives: Mr. Binkles

Foodies and frolicking

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This morning I awoke way too early to the sounds of what I do believe may have been cats frolicking. What with a 17 year old frail cat and a very lazy 29 lb 9 year old Sasquatch, Chez Lazy Buddhist has been a frolic-free zone for many years. What about that rowdy rabbit, you may ask. Rabbits do not frolic. They scamper. Mr. Binkles scampers about the house like a 3 year old who ate many Pixie Stix and washed them down with 2 or 3 of mommy’s Red Bulls. He tries to engage the cats in his games, but they will have none of it and just look at that little creature with an expression that says “what in the hell was mom smoking when she decided this was a good idea?” Hopefully, with the addition of the 2 year old Tangerine, there will be frolicking. And from the sounds of it, she’s got Sasquatch up and moving, which he desperately needs.

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The other night I had dinner with Bess, a colleague who is a self-confessed foodie. I need to do this more often. The meal became an adventure, a source of excitement, and not merely a way to satisfy your hunger and supply yourself with the needed caloric intake to fuel your daily activities. The boyfriend and I are definitely not foodies. Certainly, we enjoy food, but going out to dinner becomes more of a chore than an adventure.

LOCATION: My living room
TIME: 7:30ish any given Saturday night

LazyBuddhist (LB): You getting hungry?
The Boyfriend (BF): I’ll be hungry in an hour. What are you in the mood for?
LB: I dunno
BF: How about pizza?
LB: (rolls her eyes) Let’s actually leave the house, shall we?
BF: Little China?
LB: We did Little China last week
BF: No, we did pizza last week. We had Little China the week before.
LB: Can we expand our repetoire?
BF: The Thai place?
LB: I had Thai last night
BF: Zachary’s?
LB: 7:30 on a Saturday night? Are you crazy?
BF: Marin Joe’s?
LB: 7:30 on a Saturday night? What about Juan’s?
BF: Overpriced. How about Sahib?
LB: Huh, remember? The owners were murdered?
BF: Oh right. That’s such a shame. I really liked that place.
LB: (grabs phone.) Your usual? Pepperoni and black olives?

So, between the boyfriends love of routine and not spending too much money, and my dislike of crowds, our culinary adventures are pretty limited. So, it was refreshing to go out to dinner with Bess.

Bess was very excited to try Sol Food, this Puerto Rican restaurant she had heard good things about. The place was definitely hopping, a line almost out the door and every table taken. “Oh well”, I told her “there’s a good Thai place around the corner.” “Nonsense. It’s fine. What are you trippin’ about?” “Uh, nothing?” I said while feeling a wave of crowded-restaurant-anxiety start to flare up. When we got to the front of the line, we learn that it is family style seating. Oh. What. Fun. Bess sent me off to find some interesting people to sit with and she would order for me. And while I would hardly call the young women whose table we shared interesting, they were certainly non-threatening.

But, when the food came, all my qualms were calmed. It was so tasty, so fresh, and unlike anything I expected. She also ordered these really tasty juice water things, as well as two desserts for us to share. When I’m out with the boyfriend, I never order drinks or dessert, lest I watch him faint when he sees the bill. And those desserts? Oh lordy lordy lordy. One of them was this coconut custard thing with mango sauce. I swear, you could cover almost anything in that mango sauce and it would be good.

While I’m feeling inspired, perhaps I can talk the boyfriend into trying someplace new tonight. And if not, well, there’s always pizza.

Balancing act

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Every time I think all is well in my peaceable kingdom, something happens to upset the balance. For years, it was just my three cats, Nomie, Alaska and Sasquatch. While not always the best of buds, they all co-existed quite peaceably, with the occasional spat over who got what spot on the bed at night.

Then a year ago, I tried to introduce Tangerine O’Feral into the household. She adjusted to the other cats much better than she ever did to me. During the day, I would catch her chilling with the other three on the bed, but if I got too near she would head under the bed. I told people I had three and a half cats, since to admit to having four would make me a card-carrying member of the Cat Lady Society.

Shortly after I moved into this house last Spring, Tangerine found an escape route and took advantage of it. I didn’t see her for another several weeks. Eventually, she joined the rest of her feral family and showed up for the twice daily feedings. Unfortunately, she was never fully accepted back, but they tolerated having her near. Inside, while Sasquatch seemed to miss Tangerine, the balance was once again restored.

This summer my beloved Miss Nomer got very ill, made a bit of recovery, and then suddenly relapsed and died. The balance was once again upset, but since Nomie was really a people’s cat vs a cat’s cat, it didn’t take long for the remaining two to recover (though I still miss her like crazy). A month later, a little red bunny hops in our lives and a home is made for him in the sun room.

It has taken several months for Mr. Binkles to have free roam of the house, without any barriers. While his pen remains in the sun room, he has figured out how to let himself out whenever he wants to. At first this was a real battle of wits, as I didn’t want him having free range of the house since he had the bad habit of leaving little calling cards on the furniture. There was a period where he was only allowed in rooms with non-upholstered furniture – the dining room, kitchen office and bathroom. Eventually, as the last of his hormones settled down, he no longer feels the need to poop on everything to establish his territory, so he has free range of the house now. His litter box manners are almost perfect, but he has the most disconcerting habit of following me whenever he sees me going into the bathroom, and then jumping into the cat’s litter box to pee whenever I do likewise. I suppose I should be flattered? Anyway . . . he does, however, get penned up at night as there is nothing quite as alarming as waking up to a rabbit nose and those big pointy teeth inches away from your face.

But, today the balance is once again upset. Tangerine is back in the house. My neighbor noticed that Tangerine had a weeping wound on her side and suggested I take her into the vet and have it looked at. Good thing I did, as she has a big ol’ infection. The vet had to create two big holes in order to create drainage of the pus, and now it is my job for the next week to keep those wounds open and apply warm compresses and give her antibiotics. So, now do I not only have a feral back in my house, she is a wounded feral that needs hands-on nursing.

So, for the next week, the office is the cat infirmary, and off limits to the other cats and rabbit. They are not pleased. But, once again a balance will be found. It always is.

Getting closer

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  • I have a new friend. Before she was a friend of a friend, but today she got upgraded to friend. Funny how that works. Our mutual friend had planned for the three of us to have lunch together today. Just us three girls. Our mutual friend couldn’t make it because she was ill, but we decided to meet for lunch anyway. Now I have a new friend. I’m getting better at this friendship thing. It’s kind of nice. Growing up, I had lots of friends. In fact, my friends were much more important to me than my family. However, as I got older, I started to become more isolated. I had good situational relationships – work friends, dharma center friends, etc. But, I never really invited any of them into life. And it never really bothered me because I am more comfortable alone. Being around people can be very draining for me – no matter how much I enjoy their company. It’s easier and more comfortable being alone. But, that seems to be shifting, and I’m happy about it.
  • Tangerine O’Feral let me pet her today for the first time in our year and a half relationship. Now, I just have to let that be enough. I don’t think she wants to be a house cat, even though it would be better for her. But, mostly I want her in the house so I would know where she is, so I wouldn’t have to worry about her. Maybe, after we become better friends she may accept my offer to come back into the house. Maybe not. I’m just happy that she trusts me enough now to allow me to pet her.
  • I have figured out how I’m going to handle the relationship with the brother. I’m very simply going to tell him in a card that he is in my thoughts and prayers, and if there is anything I can do for him, to not hesitate to call. And that’s all I really can do. It would be quite selfish of me to foist my agenda of healing our relationship on him so that I don’t feel guilty if he dies. If he has the wish, I’ll be here. If not, I’m still here. And as a way of clearing the blockages in my heart towards him, I’m going to make him the object of my almost daily Tonglen practice (taking and giving meditation).
  • Yesterday, while lounging in the comfy chair, first I was joined by Alaska, who jumped up on my chest. Shortly thereafter came Sasquatch, who partially sits on the arm of the chair and then places the upper part of his body on my lap. We sat there quite comfortably for a bit while I chatted on the phone. Finally Mr. Binkles, the bunny decided to get in on the action and worked his way into fur pile. So, there we were, the four sentient beings who live in this house, all crowded into one big comfy chair looking out at the rain. Life can be very good.