Category Archives: photography
Song Lyric of the Day:
Well, the first time that I got it I was just ten years old / I got it from some kitty next door / An’ I went to see the doctor and he gave me the cure / I think I got it some more / They give me cat scratch fever / Cat scratch fever
When I first met my cat Finn, she mauled me and I ended up going to the hospital. Rich and I were on our first together trip, a visit to a friend’s parents’ lake house, and on our way home, Rich decided we should stop by his old apartment so we could say hi to his former roommate and check on his cat, who’d been left in the roommate’s care. Not only was the roommate not there (his new roommate let us in), but Finn was clearly pregnant (read: not taken care of that well). A cat had followed us up the stairs to the apartment door, which was ajar. Finn had her paw in the door and was growling at the other cat, so, not wanting to close the door on a pregnant cat’s paw, I reached down to gently move her so I could close the door. Next thing I know, this enraged pregnant cat is hanging from my arm by her teeth and I’m bleeding. Despite that, I was worried more about her unborn kittens than my arm. It wasn’t until she let go and Rich and I could assess the damage that we saw she’d punctured through three fingernails in addition to leaving me with lots of bite and claw marks on both hands and arms. I managed to tell Rich “I think you should take me to a hospital,” and off we went. I ended up crying in the waiting room, not only because the shock had worn off, but because Princess Diana had died the night before and the news coverage on the TVs was upsetting me further.
My hands were bathed in iodine, the doctor kept asking, “A cat did this? A house cat did this?”, and I got a couple of lousy bandages and lots of scars. In December of that year, Rich picked up Finn and her last unadopted kitten, who we named Buster, and brought them to live with me. While Buster settled right in, Finn and I had some touch-and-go moments where when I’d pet her it triggered some sort of feline PTSD, which caused her to hiss and swat at me, triggering my own feline-attack PTSD. Clearly, we got past all that.
That was 17 years ago, and today Finn is celebrating her 18th birthday, the longest I’ve ever been privileged to have a furkid. Considering that in cat years she’s the age of Methuselah, she’s in pretty good health. Her biggest issues seem to be some arthritis in her hind legs, and loss of hearing — we’re pretty sure she’s lost most if not all of her hearing. But none of that keeps her from ruling over her dogs and son with an iron paw. She may be old and tiny, but she’s still quite the mighty cat.
PS: We’ll be treating Finn to some tuna tonight in honor of her big milestone.
Song Lyric of the Day:
Curly, curly hair / How I love my hair / How I simply want to brush my hair / I simply love my curly hair / I want to wash my curly hair
I have a daughter with curly hair, the kind of curly hair with Shirley Temple-like spirals, that garners her lots of attention. It’s almost become the stuff of legend at this point. I exaggerate, of course, but not by much. Because outside of visits with family and friends, I have yet to take Coraline anywhere and not have people comment on her hair. People either comment directly to us or we hear whispers along the likes of “Look at that little girl’s curly hair!” as we pass by. If we got a dollar every time someone comments on her hair, we would already have a year’s worth of college tuition. At least.
When Coraline was born, she had straight jet-black hair, very strongly resembling my Mexican maternal grandfather. Once her hair thinned out (don’t you just hate how babies’ hair does that?) it grew back in lighter. I remember the exact day it started to curl: It was the day of her cousin Stephen’s second birthday party. Coraline was about 6 1/2 months old. At first Rich and I thought Coraline’s hair had just curled/kinked up due to the humidity; Stephen’s party was an outdoor one on an unusually warm April day. But then her hair never uncurled.
We have yet to take her for a haircut. Not because we’re afraid she’d lose the curl — so many people say that happens with the first haircut — because her curl is genetic. She gets it from Rich, her grandfather, her aunt, other distant relatives. Her curl isn’t going anywhere. We’ve held off on the first haircut because we wanted to see how her hair grew. And now we know: It curls so much that when we wash it, Cora’s hair reaches almost to her waist. But the curl is so strong it immediately begins curling up again once water passes through it, same as when I comb it out.
My hair is naturally wavy, but nowhere near curly like my daughter’s. A good friend recommended a book, Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey, so I could learn how to manage Coraline’s hair. Because if there’s one thing I want for my little Curly Sue regarding her hair, it’s that she loves and embraces it — and knows how to manage it. The book defines different types of curls; I think Coraline’s hair type leans toward Corkicelli curls. It reminds you that curly hair is not supposed to be washed daily (we wash Cora’s twice a week, more during sweaty summers). It also tells about the best kind of hair-care products for curly hair (botanical based and sulfate free), which led me to the California Baby brand. We use their Shampoo & Bodywash, Calendula Hair Conditioner, and Calming Hair Detangler. Bonus: Since it’s formulated for babies/kids, it’s tear-free. Not that that matters to Coraline. When it comes to having her hair washed, she only very recently stopped screaming like she was being waterboarded.
One of my favorite things about Cora’s hair is how it holds its shape. And how it gets Gene Wilder crazy at the end of the day. She and I have a thing we do at bedtime: I take out her hair ties and barrettes and say, “Shake it out!” She shakes her head, knowing and enjoying how fluffy her hair gets. And while I’m not perfect when it comes to managing her hair, I try really, really hard to make sure she likes her hair, because I know so many women who don’t like their curly hair. A few have told me it goes back to their moms not knowing how to manage their hair. I’m trying hard not to be that mom, doing what I can to help Coraline and telling her all the time how beautiful her hair is (which, duh, it is). She’s really confident about her hair, and loves saying, “She has curly hair like me!” whenever we come across a girl or woman with similar hair. So, so far what I’m doing seems to be working. Fingers crossed that it continues to work.
Now, when it comes to hairstyles that work with Coraline’s hair, well, that’s a work in progress. Another time, another post. Maybe.