Cats

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You might think cats are independent and aloof. Not mine. I have velcro cats. They love me. They love my husband. They always want to hang out with us. I can’t go to the bathroom without someone coming to see what the heck I’m doing.

“You might be having some fun, mom. I want in.”

Sometimes I feel like I am a bad cat mom — especially when I’m on the internet — and I look over and see Emma making her own fun without me.

“I know Mom can’t play with me because she is too busy on Facebook complaining about SHRM. I’ll just attack the heck out of this cat triangle until she notices.”

Poonchy Emma

(Yikes, Emma, I’m sorry. I am reading about Solange!)

But I am relieved that Emma is killing the cat scratcher because I believe in unstructured playtime for children, adults, and even animals. You don’t need to mandate that 20% of your employee’s time go towards a creative project; however, just as you give a kid a box of Legos and she begins to dream, you can offer privacy and space to adults who will use that time to solve problems in new and creative ways.

Velcro leadership is toxic. When you velcro yourself to your children and employees — and offer big management tips, big motivational speeches, and big team building activities with cheesy HR consultants — you create small, needy and disempowered workers who can’t make a move without you.

My cats (and your children and employees) need to know that they are fully validated beings who exist with or without your approval. They just need some space and encouragement to play, have a little fun, and discover who they are without the presence of a (corporate) nanny.

A little separation goes a long way. I have learned that Emma just likes to attack the hell out of her triangle for no apparent reason. When given his choice of activities, Scrubby likes to watch birds. Molly runs through the house chasing shadows. And Jake has a “rattle mouse” that makes noise when he bats it around the kitchen.

(Maybe, at some point, one of them will actually kill a willy bug around here.)

Anyway, I dream of a confident and independent kitty workforce. You should dream big dreams for yours!

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Scrubby has a ridiculous case of acne. It was so bad that we had to make an appointment with our vet, a woman with a combined DVM/PhD degree, to give him a facial.

My vet shaved Scrubby’s chin, applied a hot compress, and squeezed the hell out of his zits. She also prescribed an antibiotic and a steroid that we administered over seven days. The whole thing ran me $75. I could have had a facial.

Since that time, I have removed all remaining plastic bowls. (We only had this semi-plastic waterer in regular use, but it’s still plastic.) We started using less harsh dishwashing detergent. And I created an esthetician’s suite where I am washing his chin, nightly, with Cetaphil and Neutrogena.

He still has acne.

I googled “feline acne” and “chin acne” and “steroids” and “harsh dishwashing detergent” and found my way onto several bodybuilder websites where I learned that people on steroids fight “body acne” by applying a paste of Cascade dishwashing detergent right before going into a tanning booth.

Holy. Shit.

This reminds me of the time, years ago, when I wrote a semi-anonymous advice column. A young woman asked if semen could cure bacne.

I don’t know what prompted this person to ask a blogger for advice; however, that article BLEW UP because lots of people have bacne and search for a cure.

So I’m not freaking out about the Cascade/tanning approach because I know that people are desperate and severe acne has been linked to depression. I am simply telling you that nothing good comes from taking steroids or tanning.

(Not that anyone will listen to me. But I know something about losing collagen in my skin. I am 39. I can feel the impact of sun — both real and artificial — on my face and body.)

In Scrubby’s case, we are going to continue the nightly facials and skip the tanning booth. He is a pale and freckled ginger cat. He would fry under the UV light.

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Dear Readers,

Today is Hairball Awareness Day.

Normally, Furminator asks me to do a cool project with cat fur to promote healthy feline digestive tracts. This year, there is no project. Some websites are running a contest where you can win a FURminator grooming kit filled with several products, but I’d rather just show you the projects we’ve done for the past two years.

I think my photos are more fun.

Furminator 2012

Furminator 2013 2

Furminator 2013

Anyway, the LFR kitties are down with the Furminator. Without question, it is the single best item we own in this house. And for springtime allergies, I furminate the hell out of my cats.

None of my cats suffer from hairballs, btdubs. Not a single one.

So happy National Hairball Awareness Day. Go comb your cats. I am sure they would love the attention.

Love,
Laurie

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AOL Dial Up CDHi, everyone. Welcome to LFR HQ. This is just a quiet note to test out the platform.

As many of you know, my existence falls into three categories: work, life and cats. Even when I write about feminist hermeneutics and phenomenology, I am really just writing about my cats.

As I start to add stuff to this website, please remember that nobody is forcing you to read my work. This isn’t AOL. I don’t want your opinion. If you don’t like the content, keep moving. There’s nothing for you here.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. You can use worklifecats.com as a shortcut to find me if you can’t spell my last name.

That’s all for now!

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