Grace in Small Things No. 941

cat in bed in the morning
  1. Onion likes to share my pillow with me in the morning and press his feet against my back.
  2. I was in a rare cleaning mood this morning and ended up wiping down most of the kitchen. I normally find this to be such a chore, so it was nice to find myself wiping up the last sticky spot in a shiny kitchen.
  3. I think I finally found the perfect harmony of fans, blinds, and open windows to keep this place livable on hot days.
  4. I got my hair cut back to very short just in time for another stretch of hot weather.
  5. Loose, linen shirts are the bomb. I have two that I've been living in to stay cool.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things, a community for acknowledging and growing gratitude. Join us!

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

That No One Has Murdered This Cat Yet Means We Are Basically Saints

Oskar is the worst cat I have ever owned, and Aidan (aka "Palinode") and I agree that anyone else would have given him back to the humane society ages ago. We love the little pest, though, and we've kept loving him for nearly ten years now. Or it might be Stockholm Syndrome.

Oskar had a rough start in life — we think he was seriously abused by a woman before he ended up at the humane society, judging by his involuntary, poop-related reaction to the sound of high heels on hard floors — so he suffered extreme anxiety when we first got him. He would perch on top of the bookshelves, howling and panting with drawn lips, or he'd throw himself around in the tub and emit a blood-curdling yodel. He has calmed down a bit since then, but he still gets meds on his bad days so he can relax into a good cuddle and a nap.

Despite our patience, love, good drugs, and time, though, he hasn't given up his signature caterwaul. Nothing fixes it. I know I have already gone over his generally poor behaviour here and here and here and here and here, but he still persists, and we still don't murder him. Instead, we patiently attempt to guide his behaviour in new directions, despite the last ten years being clear proof of its futility, and then we give him neck massages, because the poor dear has such a stressful life.

If you lived with this cat, you would be wailing to the heavens why, why, why have you made this terrible creature and looking into the possibility of feline laryngectomy. Aidan and I, on the other hand, just shout SWEET JEEBUS WILL YOU SHUT UP occasionally and then give him some cream to make him sleepy.

I think the point of all this is that Aidan and I are obviously saints. We should have our images laminated onto patron saint candles.

Saint Palinode and Saint Schmutzie
Prayer to Saints Palinode and Schmutzie For Oskar
Good Saints Palinode and Schmutzie, you love Oskar. 
To you he is your "boo bear". 
Help us to follow your example
of treating every living thing with kindness,
even those who caterwaul. 
Palinode and Schmutzie, Patron Saints of Oskar, watch over him,
and keep him safe and healthy and give him the good drugs. 
Amen.

I will indeed continue to call Oskar my boo bear and sneak him extra treats and give him the good drugs, and he will continue to return the favour by coming to me with all his whiny needs on an hourly basis.

Basically, it works like this: I get to be a martyr for love, and Oskar gets extra things like pork fat. It's win-win.


PS. I just remembered that Oskar is only the second-worst cat I have ever owned. The absolute worst cat I ever owned was a little, grey kitten named Max who insisted on inhaling cigarette smoke, attacked guest's genitals, and dropped onto people's heads from open doors so he could gouge out their eyes. He was inherently broken.

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

10 Things I Liked Enough to Show You: 25–31 July 2015

This The Smiths/informercial mashup is everything:


"The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood" at The New York Times:

A hidden-camera video released last week purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses. It shows nothing of the sort. But it is the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood, which offers health care services to millions of people every year. The politicians howling to defund Planned Parenthood care nothing about the truth here, being perfectly willing to undermine women’s reproductive rights any way they can.

"Aya de Leon On How to Talk to Small Children about Racism: Celebrating Bree Newsome" at Mutha Magazine:

Our country’s history of anti-black racism and current police violence is terrifying—even to adults. The brutality of these histories and current realities should be handled gently with children. Part of racism in the US for black children has meant that our children don’t get to have a childhood. From early on, we learn that our lot in the US is to be targets of brutality. This is early training in being terrorized. I want to do a slow and gradual job of explaining the brutality of racism to my daughter.

This video from Jessi Sanfilippo is less about parenting and more about what, how, and why we create what we do:

Don't waste your time painting the picture that strangers expect from you.

Noreen Malone and Amanda Demme's "'I'm No Longer Afraid': 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn't Listen" at The Cut:

The group of women Cosby allegedly assaulted functions almost as a longitudinal study — both for how an individual woman, on her own, deals with such trauma over the decades and for how the culture at large has grappled with rape over the same time period.

It's horrifying that this many women can suffer sexual assault and involuntary drugging over many years, but it took a male comedian to make anyone really sit up and pay attention. This is par for the course, though, when the American entertainment industry still clamours to defend and work for Cosby and other serial sexual abusers like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. Men's voices are still the only voices that really matter when male power is threatened.


The Truth About You and Me is a choose-your-own-adventure style affirmation website, and it's a good one to keep on hand for when you have bad days and need to remember why you're going to be okay:

life is difficult and messy. when you're dealing with tough times, it's easy to believe untrue things about yourself. don't let that pain linger. remember what's true about you, so you can live your life to your fullest potential.



Tressie McMillan Cottom's "I Am Not Well" at Medium's The Message:

Last week my eye started twitching. It twitched for three days. The left eye, not the right. I had lunch with a colleague and halfway through he says, “do I see your eye twitching? Are you well?”
I am not well.
Every time I see a video clip of the first point of conflict that leads to so many dead black people I have chills and flashbacks. I am not well.

And I saved the best for last: Phillip Lopez's video of Nathan Mitchell dancing to Kevin Morby's song "Harlem River":

Both Phillip Lopez and Nathan Mitchell are my pretend boyfriends of the week.

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.