So, my cat’s ass is “internet famous”

So, my cat Mac’s business end was used in a recent Cat’s Pride (a cat litter brand) Facebook post!  Now the disclaimer: I work for the ad agency that manages and produces much of the content for Cat’s Pride, including their Facebook page. Therefore, it’s not entirely that amazing that this particular kittytush was featured in this way.

My cat Mac's tush as featured on

My cat Mac’s tush as featured on

Mac is, well, different.  I say that with love, of course.  He refuses to drink from the water dish like the other pets.  I mean, how plebeian, right?  The only place he will drink from is the faucet, preferably in the bathroom.  First of all, because the water is not left running at all times for his convenience, he has learned to take advantage whenever he hears someone entering the room with his favorite watering hole. Therefore, day or middle-of-the-night, if one of us ventures into the bathroom, you’ll hear the thundering rumble of a large, not particularly nimble orange cat racing from where ever in the house he happens to be. Because he’s a bit clumsy, it’s not too unusual to hear him careening off furniture, walls and/or bathroom cabinetry along the way.

He has a very particular process as well. We turn the water on very low, and yes, he will sit and look at us with all of the very considerable disdain he can muster if the water force is not to his liking.  If we have acted in an acceptable manner, then he will settle himself on the edge of the sink with his front paws bracing either side of the drain. Then, ever so carefully, he places his head under the stream of water, adjusting position until it’s just right.  The water then hits him mid-forehead, rolls down his face onto the side of the sink where he laps it up.  For whatever reason, it’s not enough to drink from the sink without it rolling off his face.  When he’s had his fill, he then shakes his head (spraying water droplets all over our bathroom mirror) and goes about his business.

That’s my boy.



Makeup after 50 – a work in progress

One of my birthday gifts this year was a gift certificate from a local salon, Todd’s Room, that is known for fantastic makeup artists.  Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, wondering if my husband was subtly attempting to tell me I needed help – this is a gift I requested. (as previously discussed, I am pretty exacting with my gift suggestions.)  It should come as no surprise that as I approached – and then sailed past – the big 5-0, things on my face are different than they used to be.  My eyes have changed shape, my skin is dryer and gravity is having it’s way with my visage.  The same ol’ tips and tricks I’d learned over the years were no longer working and I didn’t know quite how to adjust.  It was time to call in a pro.

Todd’s Room came very highly recommended to me by a good friend, Laura, who has been visiting the place for years.  I got the name of her favorite artist and made my first appointment for an eyebrow shaping.  Here’s the thing: I am terribly intimidated by places like this. They are inevitably filled with ladies of a certain income who are used to having things done for them – they have standing appointments to have their hair color tweaked, have their personal shopper on speed-dial and wouldn’t consider ever painting their own nails.  This ain’t me.  Yes, I visit a salon regularly for haircuts but I generally do my own hair color, my own shopping and my own toes.  I’m also pretty shy (I mask that well) and having to talk to someone one-on-on that I don’t know for any extended period of time is scary too.  Therefore, walking into places like this where the chairs are filled with expensive blondes is daunting, but walk in I did.

As it turned out, Todd’s is pretty down to earth.  The makeup artists work in a large room with several chairs and mirrors.  There’s some comfy chairs in the center as sort of a waiting area, music (not too loud) in the background.  I believe I saw a dog snoozing in a bed in the corner but it may have been someone’s coat, too.  Jeanie, my chosen artist, was ready for me just after I walked in and away I went.  After a few questions, she went to work with her tweezers and in under 15 minutes, I had nicely shaped eyebrows that actually matched each other.  We talked make up and my needs for a few minutes and I made my next appointment – this time for a makeup lesson.

I spent 2 weeks being inordinately impressed with my eyebrows until make up day arrived. I invited my friend Laura to meet me there – ostensibly so she could benefit from all of the learning but really because I wanted a bit of support.  Jeanie was ready for me when I arrived and away we went.  After a few questions about what products I used and what issues I felt I was having, she set to work.  It didn’t take too long to discover that for the last several years at least, I’d been doing EVERYTHING WRONG.  Jeanie never came out an said this, of course.  She just gently corrected my assumptions along the way and helped me understand what was needed.  Here’s a few of the important lessons I learned:

  • Sparkly eyeshadow is a big NO once your eyelids start to get droopy.  Seems all that glitter just accentuates the “texture” – as Jeanie so tactfully referred to what I’d call wrinkles.  Time to bid a sad goodbye to all that shiny, shiny Mac in the little black pots.
  • Eyeshadow goes on first, then foundation, powder and all the rest.  Otherwise you’re just dropping bits of eyeshadow powder all over the pretty foundation you’ve just carefully patted into place.  Darker color (matte, if you please) on lid (apply 3 times for staying power), lighter color to brow, then lid color is extended up past the crease and blended nicely.
  • The time for liquid liner and cat eyes is past (not that I’ve done either for years, truth be told) so no great sadness there.  Instead, she recommended a nice gel-based pencil, applied to the top lashline first, outer to inner, a bit at a time.  (lower liner is done after foundation/powder/bronzer is in place)
  • It’s time for Teri to accept using a real foundation.  The tinted moisturizer I’ve been using for years is fine on the days I don’t wear makeup but it’s time to allow a bit more coverage.  Powder is needed too, to set the foundation and make later applications of bronzer and blush go on smoothly.
  • And speaking of blush, the Nars “The Multiple” I’ve been relying on for 3-4 years needs to go as well.  Again, sparkles don’t do me any favors.

There was much more, of course, but these were some of the biggies.  All of this information was imparted gently, while showing me how to do each step and allowing me to make the decisions about shades, depth of application and more.  The whole thing took about an hour and ended with Jeanie writing the directions for all of this down, along with the colors and brands used, so I had step by step directions for my own at-home attempts.  Also deeply appreciated was the lack of hard-sell of product.  Todd’s sells their own line of make up, along with a few other select lines but Jeanie suggested I wear my new face for the day, look over what I had at home and then decide what I needed to buy.  I did just that and two days later ended up at the shop to purchase the foundation, liner and lipstick. (reasonable prices, too – especially for someone who’s been buying Mac)

I skipped off home to show off my new look to great acclaim.  Husband and daughter were very complimentary. Son didn’t notice but that’s probably a good thing – he’d only notice if it was startling.  The best part: the next morning I was able to do a fairly decent job of recreating my new look. Jeanie’s directions were so easy to follow I could handle things easily.  It takes a bit longer than I used to spend and I do miss all of my sparkles but I really am liking this new-ish me.  I don’t necessarily look younger – but I’m no longer making myself look older. If you’re in the area, give Todd’s Room in Birmingham, MI a call and ask for Jeanie.


I shall now begin to get ready to prepare to initiate a blog post

Time to write a post today.  As all writers know, this is not something to be taken lightly, nor entered into without the proper preparation. In particular, without the careful arrangements of one’s workspace and surroundings, all efforts to produce quality work will be for naught.  As I also have several work assignments to catch up on over the weekend, therefore much writing to do, this is even more important.  So, without further ado, here’s how I get ready to write:

  • First, ensure I am rested and my mind ready to focus:  This morning, I slept in a bit, played with the cats (relaxation is key!), showered (proper hygiene is key!), tossed on some sweats and ate a bowl of oatmeal (comfort and nutrition are key!).
  • Second, mentally prepare for the writing experience: for me, this might take the form of a period of meditation on my topic, allowing the ideas to flow in my head – and later on to the paper (or screen, as it turns out).  Because I’m a multi-tasker, this meditation took place while also sorting, washing, drying and folding laundry, trying to drag two stubborn teenagers out of bed and feeding an assortment of animals (the teenagers fend for themselves).
  • Third, prepare my work space:  unpack laptop, arrange papers, grab refreshments (writing is thirsty work!), and pillow to make chair tolerable.
  • Fourth, fire up laptop and begin: this means first checking Facebook, Twitter and email to ensure entire world is operating as it should.  Play a few games of Solitaire Blitz – you know, to loosen up the fingers for more efficient typing.  Check movie listings for time of movie to see with husband this evening as a reward for all of my hard work.  Open up WordPress, log in; log in; log in; hit reset password key; log in, click new post and stare at empty box.
  • Clearly, I am not properly prepared.  Revert to second step by doing more laundry, exhorting teenagers to clean their rooms and changing sheets on bed.
  • Sit back at computer.  Sigh.  Drum fingers.  Dart eyes around room to see what else might need cleaning.  No doubt the dusty baseboards are ruining my groove.  Play 3 more games of Solitaire Blitz.
  • Notice cat encroaching on workspace. Pesky cat. Dramatically exclaim to cat that writing is difficult and he isn’t helping.
  • Scratch cat.

Mac helping me write #1 Mac2 Mac3 Mac helping me write


What’s your “routine”?

This is my cat. There are many like him, but this one is mine.

It didn't take long for him to settle in.

It didn’t take long for him to settle in.

I have a cat.  His name is Mac.  Well, actually, I have two cats and two dogs but today, we’re talking Mac. Mac is short for Mackinac (pronounced “Mack-eh-naw”, for you non-Michiganders)  He was named by the rescue agency – they felt a Michigan-themed name was appropriate in light of his ginormous, mitten-shaped front paws.  Mac is a 2-3 years old stripey orange big galoot of a feline, tipping the scales at 15 pounds.  According to the rescue folks, he was a stray who had taken to hanging around a condo complex.  He had a home at one time, that seems pretty clear – he’s far too comfortable and laid back to be feral.  At any rate, they took him in, got him all vetted up (including the appropriate boy part removal) and put him on the adoption block.  Enter my husband and kids, wandering into Petsmart one day to buy dog food and running smack into an adoption fair and the rest is history.  He’ll pop up from time to time in this blog so it seemed appropriate to make an introduction.