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Friday, February 5, 2010


I was raised to accept people that were different from me. And by different from me, I mean people who looked, acted, believed or behaved different. As a child, I did not pay attention to what a classmate looked like. If they were cool, I was friends with them. I didn't care. As I grew older, I tried to keep things this way. I admit, it didn't always happen that way, and it still doesn't. But it is the way I was raised and I do my best. I recognize that other people have different belief systems from me. I admit to not knowing much about religion. I have learned a bit along the way but there is a lot I don't know. There is a lot that I question. There is a lot that I don't agree with. I am slowly coming to realize what I do agree and believe in now that I have grown older.
Foremost though, I believe in not pushing our beliefs on others. What a person believes is their business and should be respected. If you do not know for a fact how somebody feels about religion, I do not think it is right to send things to them that have to do with the religion you believe in. It's just not a good idea and can often be offensive if done enough.
Believing this as I do, I try to respect others and their beliefs to the best of my abilities and I simply ask for the same in return. Whether a person is a friend, family member, acquaintance, somebody you don't even know or an entire different culture, respect them and what they believe in. It is not our place to say what is right and wrong and we cannot control how other people think and feel.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making a Difference

So last year, my dear friend Amy found out she was pregnant. Shortly after, her mother was diagnosed with throat cancer in the 3rd and 4th stages. While Amy was going to the doctor's for her pregnancy, her mother was going to the doctors of various kinds for chemo and radiation therapy. It was a long fight that year that included her mother unable to talk for a while. The tumors shrank and all was well. Recently, she went in for a follow up and was told that it's not all gone and that there is possibility that it has spread. So starts another round of chemo and probable surgery to remove her voicebox and lymph nodes at the end of it. This is just one story of how cancer can completely change a life. She is battling this with everything she has and I admire and respect her for that.
On the flip side, there have been a few people in my life or the lives of my friends who did not win the battle. Another recent one was the long time manager of Pet Supplies Plus. He fought his cancer for years and I saw a bit of it first hand. I saw his determination to keep going and fighting. I saw how tired he was all the time because he continued to work while undergoing treatments. I remember working that last day and knowing that something happened but being scared to ask because I didn't want to find out something bad and then have to deal with customers on a Saturday night.
There have been others in my life that have lost the fight. I just don't remember it as well because it was a while ago, I was young and wasn't told as much about it then. But these are the stories and experiences that I keep in the back of my head a lot. These people and the countless others that have had similar situations are the reason why I made the decision to participate in Relay for Life this year. It's something I have always wanted to do. I now have an opportunity to do so and have become a team captain for the Ann Arbor Relay for Life. At the end of the year, when I look back on what I have accomplished this year, this will be near the top of the list. So I ask you to help me in this fight. If you are interested in being part of the team, let me know. Interested in donating, click here to donate. Anything you decide to do will be very appreciated and every little bit helps.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Further introductions

Since I will be mentioning my cats fairly often on here, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce them to everybody. I have three...

Midnight is originally Hassaun's cat, and he started it all for us. We often refer to him as Hassaun's son.

He came to Hassaun when we were at Pet Supplies Plus, where I worked at the time, getting food for his rats. It was the day before Halloween, which I have always found interesting, since he is a black cat. The lady in line ahead of us was asking the cashier if she knew of anything she could do with this cat she found by the dumpster at her work and had in her car at that moment. Hassaun had been wanting to get a cat for a while so we jumped in and said we would take a look. We went home with this scared little black thing. He has grown into a strong beautiful black cat who knows he is the ruler of the kingdom and is definitely the boss when it comes to his brothers. Those first few weeks were very rough as he got used to being inside and quickly poked, prodded and snipped.

The second one came to us through a friend's sister. The friend worked at Pet Supplies Plus with me (are you noticing a trend yet?) and was then working at a vet's office as part of her schooling. She and her sister had taken in this little kitten who had no mom and needed to be bottle fed. I met him when he was a matter of weeks old and immediately fell in love. By the time he was like 8 or 9 weeks old, I had played with the idea of adopting him with Hassaun. We went over to her house, and fell even more in love with his adorable little face. At the time, he was being called Munchkin but by the time we had driven home with him, his name had been changed to Patches.

He is by far the biggest trouble maker of the three. He gets into everything and anything, wants to eat anything and has done many things to get to food. He has chewed holes in canvas bags in an attempt to get to the food that is inside, he has gotten open cheez-it boxes and pulled out the bags. He gets into cabinets and pulls out the cat treats. He is on a constant quest to get the catnip container open. He has broken more than one glass, cutting himself in the process. He has a fascination with chewing cords, and if they are plugged in, even better!

He is my long-haired, green eyed, bigfoot with an antennae for a tail.

The third cat was a complete accident. He came to us in the most unique way of all the stories I have ever heard. We lived in the lowest level of an apartment building on Woodward, between Ihop and Pet Supplies Plus. I remember it was a Friday, as that was one of the few days I almost always closed at work. I was getting ready and Hassaun and I were sitting in the living room talking. Patches was on the table between us and suddenly hissed. Now, the only times he ever has hissed has been when Midnight gets too close while they are getting their wet food, so we both figured something was going on. Sure enough, behind Hassaun's chair, we see this little face staring up at us.

Now, we knew Brian hadn't brought home a cat without telling us so this was a huge surprise. I immediately rounded up Midnight and Patches, throwing them in the bathroom while we tracked down this mysterious, scared little kitten. I had no idea where he came from or if he had anything and I don't keep up with flea stuff for these guys. We finally got a hold of him, which was no easy thing since he was so scared and small and got him in a carrier. Well now what do we do? I called around to a few places before I had to go to work but of course, all the shelters are full. Or closed. So I left for work with him locked in the bathroom with a litter box and food. I didn't want a third cat. I was getting ready to move out and be jobless. I didn't want the added expense at all! He ended up staying in the bathroom for about a week until I was able to have a couple of tests done to make sure he wasn't going to give the other two anything and then let him out to meet them. Patches was NOT happy! He spent about two days hissing, growling and swatting at the kitten before they finally started to play together. I was sold. How could I refuse the little beard and Hitler mustache? I also had a couple people refusing to accept that I wouldn't end up keeping him (Thank you PSP!) Thus, I ended up with Domino, the love child of Midnight and Patches. Midnight's short hair, Patches' coloring. We figured at the time that he was 3-4 months old. We have no idea where he came from. We only figured out that he got in through the window. It had been open a couple inches and he had to have climbed the screen, which popped loose in the top corner, making him fall into our apartment. Really? He broke into our apartment? What is that? Who ever heard of a cat doing that?? No matter, he picked the right one to break into apparently! He is now the most cuddly of the three, probably because he is the most thankful. He has a broken purr-box that you can hear from a few feet away and if you are close to him, he is purring. He sleeps on my head a lot and for some reason likes to gnaw on hair. But he is my lucky one and he lets me force him to be a stuffed animal when I am laying on the couch.

Needless to say, I get a lot of stories out of these guys.

And so it begins.

I never used to be one who could nap randomly through out the day. Once I was up, I was up. Since starting graduate school this has all changed in ways I never imagined! I have always loved my sleep and beware to any who dared interrupt it. I would envy those people who could sleep until noon or later becuase I could never sleep that late. Now I still get up early but I am able to go online, check some sites *coughfacebookcough* and then lay down and pass back out on the couch for a couple of hours. The only thing that hinders my ability to do this now is my cats, who are running around like insane chickens with their heads cut off as I type. Now normally, I do not have a whole lot of need for a nap, it just happens usually becuase I am bored and don't have anything to do. And the rare occasions when I did not get a lot of sleep during the night and I am just plain tired. This week I started school and my internship again after 3 weeks off. Those 3 weeks seriously screwed up my sleep schedule and I have been struggling to readjust myself to the 6am wake ups this week. I am so thankful I can pull off naps now because of this. I don't think I would have made it through the week without them.

Now that I have rambled about sleep, I guess I should cover some logistics about this blog. I have been wanting to create a blog about my cats for quite some time now. However, I realize that I would have a hard time adhering to just talking about them so I will probably be doing a mix of my random mumblings as well as stories about the three insane cats that think they are dogs. As I near the end of my schooling, I find that there are a lot of things on my mind and I need to sometimes talk them out. I don't necessarily need to talk with a specific person to come to conclusions about my life but I do need to get the words out once in a while. Hence this outlet. I hope it can help so maybe I can alleviate some of the stress that I felt as I progressed through the past semester. I have two more to go and then it will be off into the real world with myself. Which is daunting in its own right. Am I really ready for this? Am I positive I am on the right track? These are just some of the questions I ask myself on an almost weekly basis. It has been years since I actively used a blog for my actual thoughts and experiences. I always liked it, I just got out of the habit as I became more secluded in what I put out there for the world to see about myself. So here I am again. We'll see where this takes me.