We used to have one cat but then another cat showed up on our doorstop and so we kept her and then she surprised us by 3D-printing more cats so we kept one of those, too. Now we have three cats which feels a little *twirls finger next to temple while making big eyes at the floor* but I am kind of delighted by the fact that my life feels like a real-life version of Neko Atsume.

All three of our cats are very different from one another. Callie, the indoor one, is prissy and a little bitchy and drools when she purrs. She’s obsessed with Riley and spends every evening biscuit-kneading his bed covers and knocking things off his desk. She hates the other cats and sometimes just stares out the window at them, mentally leaving cowardly comments on their Instagram accounts. Callie refuses to eat literally any other thing aside from Iams Proactive Health Adult Original Tuna cat food, which I have to order from Amazon, which feels like the most high-maintenance cat owner thing ever. Except I also bought her a custom-made gold leather collar from Etsy.

Tiny Cat is the one who just showed up one day and she is in fact very small, the size of a 6-month-old kitten. She is lean, gimlet-eyed, and focused: even when she’s lolling in the sun room she has the vibe of a John Wick assassin briefly relaxing in the Continental. Tiny Cat is constantly hunting, bringing in a never-ending bounty of snakes and birds and the occasional eviscerated rat. She brings in giant dead leaves, which she apparently thinks are some sort of dried-out, immobile prey. We all have deep respect for Tiny Cat, and speak in hushed, reverent tones about the time she brought in an intact Egg McMuffin, still in the wrapper.

Catinator (shut up, Dylan named him) is Tiny Cat’s son, which I would not believe if I hadn’t seen him emerge from her actual body. He is absolutely enormous, a giant luxurious expanse of grey tabby fur, and he is the laziest cat of all. He sleeps for hours in the small top tier of a carpeted cat tower, spilling over on all four sides. He has a funny little deadpan meow: “Wow.” (He sounds a lot like this, actually.) He loves to be carried like a big fat ring-tailed baby. Like Callie, Catinator is comically useless, an unemployed freeloader who occasionally fights with his hard-working mom and gets nervous when it’s a little windy. In the apocalypse, only Tiny Cat would survive.

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I had a miserable cold this weekend, the kind that consumes your thinking until you’re pretty sure you’ve always lived this way, gasping openmouthed for air and feeling the skin on your nostrils peel away from all the blowing, and the only thing that made me feel slightly less awful is that Dylan had the same cold. Not that I want him to be sick, of course, but if he was going to be sick, it was nice (?) that I was sick at the exact same time so we could commiserate together. He’d raise his red-eyed face from one couch and peer at me, lying surrounded by wet tissues on the other couch, and he’d say “I can’d even remember what it’s like to breathe through by dose!” And I’d be like, “I DNOW, right?” Then we’d split an ibuprofen and cough weakly into our respective blankets while Riley rolled his eyes.

We did manage to rally for brunch yesterday, although I think that might be the last time I drag everyone out for an over-priced affair that features dried-out salmon and the thousand-yard-stare from a resentful employee who has been staffing an omelet station since 9 AM. It was nice having someone else cook on Mother’s Day and all, but I bet ordering a pizza would have been more satisfying and I wouldn’t have had to take the easy-access Kleenex out of the top of my bra.

It was a really good Mother’s Day. I’d just spent Saturday at the coast with the boys while John was traveling, so we’d had some nice just-us time together. They gave me cards and a delicate yellow orchid, the weather was summery and perfect, John washed my car, the three of them trooped off to Home Depot to bring me home a lawn chair I’d been eying.

Also, I asked John to take our photo and I can’t believe how big these kids are:

Parenthood is really something, isn’t it? I’ve been going through a bunch of old posts lately, pulling together content for a pregnancy/new motherhood memoir/journal/whatever (I’m going to self publish and it’s either going to be funny and awesome or it’s going to be a hot mess, but either way I’ll have a record of that time that lives somewhere aside from my archives), and it feels like actual thousands of years ago that I was marveling at the confusing staticky image from my first ultrasound (awwww, it’s … Skeletor?), but also like it’s not remotely possible that I could be the parent of two almost-teenage humans because didn’t this all happen, like, yesterday?

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