Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Yang turned 17 earlier this month. Not bad for a kitty who received the then-apt nickname of “vomicat” many years ago. A diet of homemade cat food has kept the old-cat ranginess at bay, and he may just be primed to register to vote next summer.

I know we’re lucky to have had such a great cat in the family for so long. (Not that Yin was any slouch in the long-term pet department: 14 years is not the shortest of cat lives, either.)

Animal lovers automatically surround themselves with other animal lovers, and are thus always experiencing the happiness and the tragedies of animal companionship. Just a couple of weeks ago, a friend’s 8-year-old cat died suddenly, and this week another friend is facing an undetermined, yet probably terminal, diagnosis for his family’s cat. He has the additional burden of helping his young sons deal with their grief, too.

If we had any common sense when it came to protecting our emotions, we’d stop turning animals into family members. The joy we would lose if we chose a lesser relationship with our pets, however, is simply unfathomable.

Thus, we choose, again and again, to love these furry little beasts, knowing that they’re going to leave us much too soon.

Totally worth it.

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It seems I’m the kind of woman who gets pinball machine parts for her birthday.


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I’m not that fond of single-use kitchen gadgets — they take up a lot of space in exchange for performing tasks that other tools can usually do quite adequately. But I’ve found the Bialetti Electric Mukka Express Cappuccino Maker to be quite indispensable for the occasional afternoon pick-me-up.

It takes up less space than most fancier models I’ve seen, which makes it ultra-efficient since I’m the only coffee drinker in the house. It makes a rich, creamy cappuccino for way less money than I would spend at Starbucks. The only trick: Warming the milk slightly in the microwave before pouring it into the upper chamber makes the end product hotter and foamier.

All in all, the best birthday present I’ve ever heavily hinted around for.

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My brother’s almost 4-year-old daughter called to wish me a happy birthday a couple of weeks ago, and immediately launched into one of her famous, almost decipherable monologues. Apparently she was informing me what I was supposed to bring for her upcoming birthday: a pink and purple mask on a stick, in a white box wrapped with a red bow.

Very specific, that child.

My mom already has her marching orders: a pink dinosaur.

I love it that something in her brain has told her that Tia (that’s me – it’s Spanish for aunt) should get her one thing, and Grandma should get her another. It’s probably a little presumptuous, but go ahead and tell a 4-year-old that she’s being presumptuous.

She knows what she wants, and I’m just glad it doesn’t involve a copyrighted cartoon character designed only to sell her more junk. She’s asking for toys that will allow her use her imagination.

Best of all, she already seems to know that dropping hints is somewhat futile at best, and passive-aggressive at worse. Better to figure out your desires and explain them clearly to those who need to know them. I just hope she holds on to that trait as she grows older, for it will make her a stronger and happier woman.

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