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For Christmas this year I decided to buy matching pajamas as cat gifts for me and my cats. I was determined to get an adorable Christmas card photo with my whole furry family together. I set up a tripod with my mirrorless camera, installed the wireless remote app on my phone, did my makeup, got dressed, and waited until I had the perfect combination of sleepy kitties and window sunlight. Yeah, that went about as well as expected...

Things my cats have destroyed: Two vases, knocked down from a shelf. A snow globe photo frame that forever left glitter glued to the floor. A candle holder. A Disney Sleeping Beauty mug I'd had since high school. A drinking glass I'd had since college. My bedroom mirror. Numerous rolls of toilet paper. My fig tree and countless other plants. A couple of Food & Wine magazines. A jar of citrus-scented bath salts. A surfing Obama bobble head. The side of my couch. The underside of my box spring. All of my blinds. I'm sure that there are more things that I can't think of right now (or haven't discovered yet). But that's the gist...

It's been a year since I adopted my cats. I'm not sure exactly which day to count as their official "adoption day." The day I decided to adopt them? The day I sent the email requesting to adopt them? The day I signed the paperwork? The day I got the paperwork back? The day I got the paperwork back that they actually remembered to sign? In any case, it was sometime last January. By the time I adopted my cats they had already been living with me for seven months, so, really, at that point, it was mostly just legalities. And I...

I avoided dating before I left home to travel the world. I was afraid that I'd meet someone and that he would interrupt my plans. Because I had a plan. And I knew what I wanted for the future. And I didn't want anything to get in the way. It's been seven years since I left. Three and a half since I returned. And I still avoid anything that could possibly be considered a "commitment." Anything that might get in the way of any of my future plans. Because I have plans. Or, at least, ideas. I still think, often, of traveling...

Last year, I went on date to see the movie Kedi at The Music Box here in Chicago. Kedi, in Turkish, simply means "cat," and the film documents the cats in Istanbul who rule the streets and seem, all at once, to belong to everyone and no one. (You can watch the movie here.) The documentary hit a sweet spot for me because, well, CATS, but also because I had spent a month of my travels in Istanbul and around Turkey and remembered fondly all of the cats I saw everywhere while there. There were cats in the streets, cats in...

Last year I dated a cat guy. This guy loved cats as much as I did, probably even more so because he actually had a cat while I just admired them from afar. He volunteered at a cat shelter and we'd exchange texts about reality TV kittens. He didn't even think I was a weirdo for suggesting a date to see Kedi, a documentary about the cats in Istanbul. And it really was the best date. But he never actually introduced me to his cat (we'd always end up at my place), and, eventually, we parted ways. It's all good, though....

If you haven't noticed, I have kind of had a one-track mind lately. And by kind of I mean totally. And by one-track I mean cat. Cat mind. All I think about is cats. Cats cats cats. You might call me a crazy cat lady. You wouldn't be wrong. And what does a cat lady need besides a cat? Twenty cats. And what does a cat lady who probably needs twenty cats but can only have two cats according to her lease need? Cat stuff. All the cat stuff. I recently wrote a round up of awesome modern cat things for your cat but if...

Two years ago I bought a fig tree. It was at once a thoroughly calculated and yet impulsive buy. I'd wanted to get a fig tree, I'd thought about getting a fig tree, I'd researched where I could even get a fig tree in Chicago, if you could even grow a fig tree in Chicago. And then I ended up purchasing one at a farmer's market outside my train stop. I was on my way to work when I spotted a Chicago Hardy fig tree at a stand, handed over $20, and lugged it home. I was late to work...

There are two types of first-time mothers. There are those mothers who decorate the baby's nursery for the baby. Teddy-bear printed bedding. Chunky plastic toys in bright primary colors. Dancing elephant mobiles in gender-friendly pink or blue. Then there are those mothers who decorate the nursery for themselves. Mid-century modern cribs. Monochromatic color schemes in dusty lavender or yellow and gray. Carefully selected wall garlands, lace tents, and a curated bookshelf styled with a vintage metal piggy bank, a precious stuffed bunny with a flower crown, and, just maybe, a couple of actual books. If I were a mother, I'd be the...

If you know me you know there are two things I can talk about on end: travel and cats. Often, cats I met while traveling. (See the cats who begged for food in Istanbul, the hostel kittens in Leon, my adorable Lek in Chiang Mai...