Moving, from the Cat’s Perspective

Moving day quickly approaches..

My poor babies. Lucy, the rounded one, has remained oblivious, lounging around as we strip our cabinets and stack boxes next to her bed. As an all-day-long sleeper she has never cared much where she ends up, as long as there is a lap to drool on every night. Leo, however, knows something is going down. His eyes are surly, half-closed as we pack, and he has been slinking around the house, visibly perturbed. As the frisky outdoor kitty, he is attached to this house and its yard the way Lucy and her 12-pounds of doughy fluff is attached to the ottoman.

Lucy, Leo

Lucy, Leo

We don’t want to move.  Not only do I hate the whole process of moving, our house is kinda rad. Perched in a quirky neighborhood in a peaceful hippy town, it has a beautiful new kitchen and bathroom, a gigantic amount of storage, a large master bedroom, and hardwood floors. It’s the best place I’ve ever lived that I’ve paid for myself. For the price of my rent, I could own two small houses in a different state, but I got over that pain a while ago. The main drawback to our house is that it is far from the freeway, stores, the city and, most importantly, my new job.

The new place is nice, with a big yard, and I know we’ll come to love it. Leo, however, is probably deathly afraid of going back to an apartment building, to something like what my previous landlord dubbed the “cat ghetto.” I let him share his thoughts.

Leo, on thug life:

I know I’m street- I’ve earned the right to say that. Were you born on a fluffy blanket, surrounded by the warmth of a mom and siblings? No? Well neither was I. My first moments of life were on hard, cold concrete. Our birth mom jumped away and never came back that first night, and we would have died if it weren’t for this human lady. She smelled funny but she was warm.

The humans have been good to us, I’ll admit, though I’m not sure if anyone could resist my sexiness; I look damn fine. But the digs have been rough. All I want is a little peace when I go out, a field where I can stalk gophers and birds, but instead I keep running up on these fools. I’ll find the perfect hunting spot and “boom!” some psycho ginger is all over me like a hungry flea. At the last place, I perfected my battle skills: fast paws, sinking butt bites, ominous growls and even rooftop ambushes. I also kept getting stuffed into this crappy plastic crate and going to this cold little room where.. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination; Let’s say these weren’t my fondest memories.

At our place now, I run the street. A couple lady cats about half my size sometimes come in the yard, but they see my statuesque self, hear my now grizzled battle howl, and they flee. (Why don’t I make nice with the females? That ship sailed a loong time ago, sadly). Around here, I’m the Leo. All the humans know my name.

My humans aren’t fooling me- I know what the boxes mean. I guess I should start sharpening my claws, cause it could be back to the ghetto for us.

As long as my internet gets hooked up correctly, I’ll have the rest of the Hawaii trip next week!

Turtles, Whales, and a Woozle

Near the dragon's teeth in Kapalua

Near the dragon’s teeth in Kapalua

At last the gauntlet of death eased its campaign and I got to enjoy some real vacation time, with varying degrees of success. Here is a smattering of highlights from our trip to Hawaii:

Trying to Not Get Kicked Off the Plane

Our flight was delayed an hour, so we parked ourselves in a restaurant table closest to the airport terminal for best people watching potential (I swear we saw a pair of professional “bearders” pass by). The boyfriend enjoyed some adult beverages under the auspices of “it’s vacation!” but really more because he is only slightly less afraid of flying than I am. I wasn’t able partake myself because of my sinus issues, unfortunately. When we got the news our flight was delayed another hour, he ordered a Bloody Mary. He let the server know that this, his third beverage, was really, really good, and she replied, “Yes, we make all our drinks as doubles!” Mierda.

The boyfriend was slightly woozly when we made our way to the gate. The check-in attendant asked for his last name. He stared back blankly then looked at his boarding pass: “Panza!” he declared.

The check-in attendant’s brow furrowed. I swear if my boyfriend had been any shade darker than milky white the TSA would have swept in to investigate us.

A funny aside to this story is the difference in our moods when we arrived at our destination. I was nearly euphoric, as I typically am after stepping off a plane, because I was on firm ground and hadn’t gone down in a ball of flames into the Pacific. My boyfriend was grumbling as we rolled our baggage through a nearly pitch-black parking lot looking for our rental car. I asked why he was so grumpy and he confessed: “I think I’m hungover.” It was 7 pm.

The Perfect View

I had managed, booking on short notice, to get an ocean-front condo, in a small complex during high season (whale season) in Maui, for less than the nightly rate of a hotel in downtown San Francisco. The hyper-colored blue strip of water, made dramatic with the islands of Molokai and Lanai in the background, was like an IV of Prozac every day.

View of Lanai Island

View of Lanai Island

An unexpected bonus was the daily life we saw out on the water. First, the whales: Between 5,000 and 10,000 whales are in the area for the season, and we were able to watch several groups popping up every morning while we were enjoying coffee on the patio. Second, there was a reef break just outside the condo, where about 5-15 surfers and paddle boarders were at any given time. One afternoon, the two worlds of human and Humpback collided, when a group of whales buzzed by right next to the reef break.

The whales grab everyone's attention

The whales grab everyone’s attention

The paddleboarders on a dangerballs mission to get closer to the whales

The paddleboarders on a dangerballs mission to get closer to the whales

Sea turtles also came up to the rocks next to the condo to feed, appearing, from my overhead view, like a group of green Pac-Man’s shuttling around ungracefully from rock to rock in the turquoise surf. When we were at a nearby beach we found one lonely turtle basking in the sun, eyes closed and oblivious to people like me who stopped to get a photo.

maui turtle

I meet a turtle!

A Case of Restlessness

I should have beached myself like the pale mainlander I am and enjoyed the sun and critters, but alas, I have a twitchy spirit and must assess my surroundings fully before I can settle down; Kind of like a cat that spins around about 20 times before they find their perfect sleep spot. Some of the sunniest, best weather days we spent driving around, checking out parks, shops and beach access points. Right when we had the lay of the land and were ready for a solidly beachy couple of days, the “Vog” moved in (volcanic smog), the weather cooled down, and the surf got rough.

Not that I’m complaining, but I feel like I have some unfinished business in Maui! The kind that involves sitting and doing nothing.

I’ll have to split this up into a two-parter. Next will be upcountry and our Hana adventure. For now, more pictures!

Small beach next to our condo where the surfers and paddleboarders accessed the break

Small beach next to our condo where the surfers and paddleboarders accessed the break

Shot of ocean at the small beach

Shot of ocean at the small beach

Rocks under condo, where the turtles came to have lunch

Rocks under the condo, where the turtles came to have lunch

Dragon's teeth

Dragon’s teeth in Kapalua

Also near dragon's teeth in Kapalua

Also near the dragon’s teeth

Cool tree on path to Honolua bay

Cool tree on path to Honolua bay

Honolua Bay path- chickens, cats and snorkelers run amok

Honolua Bay path- chickens, cats and snorkelers run amok

Dramatic sunset at the condo

Dramatic sunset at the condo