Saturday, February 28, 2009

And I Thought Cats Were Smart...

Today while we were doing some stuff around the house, cleaning up and getting ready to take Ronin to his dad's place for the night, I heard the cat absolutely yowling from the living room. I ran in there to find out what was up and found him tangled in the vertical blinds. Somehow, he had managed to get one paw caught in one of the tiny chains that connect the bottom of the panels, then proceeded to get himself even more tangled up in his panic to escape. There were chains and strips of the blinds wrapped around all four legs and his neck. I seriously have no idea how he got like that, but I'm just glad it happened while we were home and able to help him so he didn't choke himself.

So, I'm trying to get him untangled and he's fighting and panicking, biting and scratching the crap out of me. Ronin is next to me, crowding in and trying to see what's happening, freaking out, crying and yelling. I'm alternately yelling at Ronin ("That's not helping, either shut up or go into the other room!" Because, you know, it's hard to keep your cool with a psychotic cat and a screaming kid.) and at the cat ("I'm trying to help you, stop scratching me!"), both of which I'm sure were really helping the situation. After I nursed my kitty wounds and comforted first Ronin, then the cat (who was cowering in terror and staring at the blinds like they were going to run across the room and attack him), I dismantled the bottom chain connector thingies. The blinds are a bit floppy now, but at least they won't kill the cat.

Seriously, how does this shit happen?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Real Men Do Terrible Things.

And so do real women.

I've gotten a lot of Facebook invites lately for the "Causes" application, specifically the cause called "Real Men Don't Hit Women" or some such. While I appreciate the intent of the app, there's something about it that doesn't sit right with me. It's the use of the word "real." Authenticity is not something that can be determined this way. Melissa over at Shakesville explains it better than I ever could, 'cause she's crazy smart like that. (Follow the link to her letter that's in that post-it's also amazing.)

Real men do all manner of things, both good and bad, and so do real women. The use of the word "real" in this context has always bothered me, in many different circumstances. It bothered me when I was thin and struggling with the "real women have curves" claptrap that gets thrown around as a poor substitute for size acceptance. It bothered me when I was a single teen mom and heard the owner of the daycare my son was in making a distinction between teen moms and "real moms." It bothers me when used as a tool to enforce gender stereotypes and heteronormativity, as in "real men don't cry" or "real women know how to cook" or any one of a million phrases like those. And it bothers me to see authenticity used in this context, however well-meaning.