Tag Archives: Cats

Stray Cats Suck

Anytime I walk outside I’m greeted by a clan of cats. I never know how many cats are actually around — sometimes I see like two or three, other times ten or more — but they’re all over the damn place. We have so many stray cats lurking around our house that I can’t even recall what they’ve been named. Supposedly we have names for some of them — like Militia, Sean, Pumpkin, Shira, Bibbers Jr. and so on — but I can’t ever remember who is who. They’re all feral cats and have a general bland grey color, they all look similar, and they’re all about the same size: scrawny. These cats are everywhere. I can’t even drive up our driveway without having three cats lazily lying in front of my car. Some of them don’t even move as I drive up to them, forcing me to get out of my car and shoo them away before parking. It’s a nightmare of felines.

Cats…

It’s not my fault or my wife’s fault either. The main problem here is our stupid-ass neighbor, some lady by the name of Lori that I’ve simply been calling “The Cat Lady” for obvious reasons. These cats are all her problem and she’s getting all the blame for it. You might remember her from this post. I was sitting outside one night trying to be at peace with the universe and she kept annoying me by calling to her cats. Totally killing my vibe. That was The Cat Lady, and this post is about her too.

She’s one of those people that you’re not sure how they even survived as long as they did. She seems so damn ignorant and clueless that I’m surprised someone like her made it to their middle ages. I don’t know her history (and don’t care to either), but I find it difficult to believe she ever graduated high school or did anything in life. She seems so naive and clueless and acts like an eight or ten-year-old most of the times. She doesn’t have a car, rides her bike to the local dollar store, and seems oblivious to nearly everything in the world. Her entire life consists of feeding the damn cats, begging us for money to feed the cats, and talking about the cats. If I stop being so harsh and critical I should have some sympathy for her, but I’m a cold-hearted bastard and she (and her strays) just annoys the fuck out of me 97% of the time.

What bothers me the most about her is her total cluelessness to how populations and food chains work. She’s fucking oblivious. I know she loves the stray cats and doesn’t want them to starve — which is noble — but this is where her knowledge stops. A few years ago our neighborhood used to only have a few strays and she fed them like the kind-hearted soul she is and housed them in her garage. Fun fact (and a fact that she wasn’t and still isn’t aware of): when you feed strays, there is no pressure against them reproducing! The couple of strays had a few litters of kittens, turning into like ten cats, and then they reproduced, increasing the amount of cats needlessly wandering around our house. She gave some of them away but kept feeding the rest, and they kept reproducing like you’d expect them to do. So now we have a legit army of cats lurking around the house just wondering who will feed them next.

I don’t know if this makes me smart, or her stupid, but this seems like such an obvious conclusion to a problem that should’ve been evident from the start. You feed two cats, they’ll turn into ten, and so on, until you’re dishing out literal hundreds of dollars to feed the entire family until their population meets the capacity of their available food supply. It’s how the world works and is why I discouraged my wife feeding them out of sympathy. Sure, you’re trying to help a few cats, but that will only spiral out of control until you’re feeding an indefinite about of cats until they run out of food and the population can’t support itself.

Apparently Cat Lady’s boyfriend laid down the law yesterday and forced her to stop feeding them. Luckily I wasn’t home at the time, but she came over crying asking my wife if she could feed them. Well, this is your problem lady, but whatever. So now, today, when going outside, I was greeted with the entire extended family of cats lurking around our house. It’s like they could smell the food and knew who would be feeding them for the next week or so. Fuck me, fuck my life, fuck everything. These cats are smart, probably smarter than the lady feeding them, and they knew where the food was.

Look, I love cats and don’t like to see them suffer or starve, especially when cute kittens are involved, but damn if it isn’t frustrating to see them constantly reproducing, begging for food anytime you walk outside, or casually lying in the driveway when you come home from work. The worst part is that I don’t see any obvious way out of this problem that’s been created by our neighbor. We can’t foot the bill to get all the females spayed or the males neutered, and we surely don’t want to pay $20 per cat to give them to a shelter (not sure if that’s true, but it’s what The Cat Lady said), but they keep lurking around and shitting in the yard. There is no easy way out. The cats are here, they’re ever-present, and it seems like something we just have to deal with. Stray cats fucking suck.

Enlightenment Sucks (Part 1 of ?)

I’m pretty much a closeted Buddhist. I say closeted because I’m not really good at being a Buddhist; I’ve never been to a temple and I’ve never actually done anything extremely “Buddhist” whatever the fuck that means. I also have a blog where I write “fuck” alot, complain about everything, and seem to hate all sorts of shit: this also doesn’t sound very Buddhist of me. But I do have the mindset that favors introspection, curiosity, understanding, and being at peace with the world and find the “religion” (if you want to call it that) to be very appealing. Buddhism just kinda clicks with me I guess.

Buddhism doesn’t attempt to place universal blame on some entity for suffering or salvation on someone else’s back: everything seems to be solely up to you. While Christianity seems hell-bent (pun!) on saving your soul through Jesus Christ, Buddhism seems to be focused on saving your ass from yourself. To prevent you from making your own life miserable. And instead of some holy figure to guide you, you’re given the Buddha: some dude who figured out the way to be enlightened. That’s about it. He himself wasn’t actually special or anything: he just figured it out. Life is about finding enlightenment and that’s it. Because, according to Buddhism, the only problem with your life is your mindset. Life isn’t fucked up: it’s your view of life that is fucked up.

What is enlightenment exactly? Buddhism seems to define this as being “aware of how things are” and in a slightly different aspect of it “happy” or at least “okay” with how things are. Buddha didn’t become a saint or do anything magical; he was just a guy who figured shit out and was at peace. This is cool because if some random dude in India figured shit out, then so can you! I suppose at the end of the day — and maybe everyone feels this way — I have the same goal: I want to have a deep and fundamental understanding of existence and be at peace with it. Even if something shitty happens to me I want to be able to back up, view the event from an outside perspective, and be “happy” or “okay” about it in some form or another. This is what enlightenment is, at least to me. It’s kinda hard to put into words really.

The problem arises because I’m fucking terrible about being happy and thankful with the current state of the world! As much as I idealize this idea of enlightenment I’m actually awful at placing it into action: I’m an angry and pissy person and it’s hard for me to see any positives in anything that actually happens. My own personality, while liking the idea of being enlightened, seems to be diametrically opposed to it.

Here’s an example. I was out on the porch drinking just being in the moment and while not purposefully meditating I was still in the zone so to speak. It was like a form of passive meditation. There were kittens outside playing and I was simply sitting there, watching them, totally at peace with the world. Life was good. I would assume that Eastern philosophy and Buddhism would refer to this moment as “enlightenment” (especially Zen as this moment was a kinda “aha! I get it!” moment) and while I didn’t ascend to a higher plane or have any deep insights I was at peace with the world (which is the deep insight really) and totally okay and accepting of anything in it.

But apparently not. Because that’s when the neighbor lady showed up.

She came outside and started trying to call one of the kittens over. We named him “Rain” which is a pretty fucking stupid name anyways, but apparently she had named him “Cutie” which is another level of stupid. So there I was, peaceful, buzzed, and in the Buddhist-Zone when this lady starts yelling in a loving, motherly voice but with the tone of pure nails-on-chalkboard, “Cutie! Cutie! Where are you, Cutie?! Come here kittykittykittykittykittykittykittykitty !”

“It’s an older meme, sir, but it checks out.”

I about lost my shit. It wasn’t as if this slowly wore my mood down over time — no — as soon as she started screeching at the cat my blood instantly started to boil. My pulse and blood pressure notably skyrocketed. My peace, love, happiness, and understanding instantly disappeared in a fiery moment of pure hatred towards this other person. Another being in the universe having the same experiences and troubles as me? My ass. This lady was totally ruining my goddamn peace love and happiness! Didn’t she realize how utterly fucking annoying she was? Didn’t she realize that you can’t force a cat to love you? Didn’t she understand that the kittens were playing and didn’t give a fuck about anything she was screeching about?

(Insight Note: You can’t force a cat to love you. They’re passive beings that love doing their own thing. The kittens had more love for me passively sitting there and not bothering them than they did for the overly aggressive lady that wanted the kittens to love her. Cats have to love you on their own terms. I put myself out there to be loved by the kittens, but at the end of the day I try to leave them alone until they’re accepting of me. This is also true of people. WOAH. 3deep5u.)

Obviously this wasn’t a very cash-money Buddhist way of feeling, and I almost feel bad about these intrusive thoughts. Almost. The thing about meditation is it makes me happy and when this happiness is interrupted I get angry, usually way too angry for the situation. It’s really frustrating because I’m obviously not at the “peace, love, and acceptance” level where I can deal with incidents like these. I’m still horribly flawed even if I do have glimpses of enlightenment and peace and this makes things even more frustrating.

The Buddha when I lost my peace thanks to Neighbor Lady.

And it’s times like that where I think I’m not cut out to be enlightened or at peace in life. I’m just not worthy of it. Im kinda a jackass. I talk shit about some of my coworkers and while my supervisor is a very peaceful, loving, and “everyone has their own story and struggle and you shouldn’t judge them” type of person, I can’t seem to not shit all over people for doing the smallest thing wrong. I understand what she’s getting at, but can’t convince myself to feel that way even if I do think that way. I’m a goddamn dirtbag! While on the surface I understand that people have their own struggles and so on, I still can’t put that into practice and, ya know, be a good person.

In fact I’ve almost started embracing my dickishness. When I’m at the store I openly cuss in front of children. I scowl as people that stand in my way. I’m petty and bitter and love saying “I told you so” when I’m proven right. I don’t go out of my way to make people miserable (I’m not “Karen” asking to talk to your manager) but if I’m pissed-off it’s hard to hide it. I’m all for self-improvement and think everyone should try to fix their flaws, but at the same time I think everyone needs to be themselves, which makes zero sense really. It pisses me off when I see Facebook posts saying something like “If you can’t handle me at my worst you don’t deserve me at my best.” It sounds like justification for being a terrible person. I want to not be a terrible person but I also want to accept myself as-is, even if I apparently am kinda a dick. It’s confusing and contradictory.

As much as I’m into the Buddhist theory and mindset, I’m apparently fucking terrible at putting it into practice. While I like the idea of enlightenment, I realize that I’m not the type of person to actually be enlightened. Something is always pissing me off (which is nice when you have a blog called Everything Sucks I guess) and even if I had an amazing day, I’ll still be upset by something. (“I won the lottery? Well now I’ll have to pay someone to do my taxes for me next year. Fuck.”) It’s a constant feeling of I’m not good enough and I’ll never be good enough in terms of my own peace, happiness, and well-being. Maybe I’m just not cut out to be an enlightened person.